Good Samaritans help officer rescue woman in El Cajon condo fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Good Samaritans help officer rescue woman in El Cajon condo fire

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EL CAJON (NEWS 8/CNS) - A fire at an East County condominium complex damaged two residential units Monday and left a woman seriously injured, authorities reported.

The blaze erupted for unknown reasons shortly before 8 a.m. in the 1000 block of Teatro Circle in El Cajon, Heartland Fire & Rescue spokesman Sonny Saghera said.

As firefighters were en route, neighbors and police officers helped an injured retirement-age woman out of her burning residence. Medics took her to UCSD Medical Center in San Diego for treatment of smoke inhalation and extensive burns to her back, Saghera said.

Neighbors say an El Cajon police officer sprang into action to help save a woman trapped inside.

"The female cop jumped on the fence then one of the neighbors pulled the fence down and got the lady out of there, she was burned pretty good -- the whole top half of her body, Corey Mason said.

Fire crews arrived to find a two-story apartment unit fully involved with fire with the fire extending from the first to second floor. A neighboring unit also caught on fire. Firefighters had the blaze under control within 20 minutes.

The female officer, Jeannine Johns, is being hailed as a hero for her swift actions to rescue the resident. After jumping the fence, Officer Johns found the victim crawling on the ground barely conscious. 

"She was completely disoriented," said Johns. "She couldn't even lift her head." 

The victim's status was unknown as of Monday evening. 

About three hours later, the fire re-ignited in an attic area above the damaged units, Saghera said. But crews were able to subdue the renewed fire in about a half-hour.

The cause of the blaze, which caused an estimated $500,000 worth of damage to the structure and contents, was under investigation.

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