Man, caretaker rescued from Del Mar house fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man, caretaker rescued from Del Mar house fire

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DEL MAR (CNS) - An elderly man and his caretaker had to be rescued from their Del Mar home, after being trapped amid flames, authorities said.

The fire broke out Sunday about 2:30 a.m. in the garage of a home in the 2700 block of Camino Del Mar, said Del Mar Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Ford. That location is steps from the beach and not far from the Del Mar Fairgrounds. 

Phillip and Lesley Ponzio walked by Sunday to see the aftermath of the fire. 

"I jumped up to see what was going on and I looked out the window and we just saw flames shooting out," said Lesley.  

"It's scary a bit. I hope everyone got out okay," added Phillip.  

Another neighbor told News 8 her husband ran to alert the family and neighbors while she called 911. 

They were worried it might ignite other homes nearby, but it didn't. 

The detached garage contained the fire, but it blocked the home's main entrance.  

When firefighters arrived, they found the garage "fully involved" in flames, and two men trapped on the home's balcony, Ford said. 

Firefighters attacked the fire while crews went to the back of the structure and used ladders to get the elderly male and his caretaker from the balcony.  

Once outside, medics placed the man in his 90s on a stretcher and took him to a waiting ambulance. 

He was treated at Scripps Memorial Hospital for minor injuries and released. 

A firefighter was also treated for minor injuries and released, Ford said. 

Meanwhile other firefighters turned their attention to putting out the remaining fire. 

"There was a large glow around the area," said Lesley. "I thought I saw a big flash like something exploded and the flames got bigger." 

Crews knocked down the fire within about 20 minutes, Ford said.  

The caretaker was uninjured. 

Ford said fire crews limited damage to the garage, and the blaze caused an estimated $325,000 of damage to vehicles and the structure. 

Eventually it was all under control and residents came by to look at the aftermath. 

"These people are my community, my friends, my customers so it hits home sometimes," Phillip.  

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