SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Neighbors sprang to action Tuesday morning to save two dogs that were trapped inside a burning apartment building in Pacific Beach.
The fire broke out around 9 a.m. in the laundry room of an apartment complex at the dead end of Figueroa Boulevard. Neighbors went door to door throughout the complex to make sure everyone was safe and outside.
"Yeah, it was pretty intense. We heard the sirens coming. We went through the whole complex , knocking on doors, making sure everyone was getting out of there and getting safe," said Trevor McManus
One of the men going door to door noticed that there were two dogs trapped inside one of the units. He and another neighbor kicked in the door and rescued one of the dogs from the unit. The second was found safe by the owner shortly after firefighters arrived on the scene.
The owner or the dogs says it was a relief to know her dogs made it out of the burning building safely.
"I just freaked out. It was the scariest drive home I've ever made from work, but they were fine. Willard was out, but Gracie didn't want to stay out, so she was still up in the apartment with the smoke and then I got her," said Ruth Anne Schmutz. "But everyone's fine. Everyone's fine. They broke the door, thank God, and got everyone out."
Fire investigators say though it was a valiant effort on the part of neighbors, you never really know where the fire is or if that second floor was in danger of collapsing. They say the safest thing to do, is not to enter a burning structure and to wait for firefighters to arrive and alert them.
According to San Diego Fire-Rescue officials, a leaking propane tank may have sparked the pilot light on the water heather.
Damage is estimated at $25,000 to the building and another $25,000 to the contents.