EL CAJON (CBS 8) - Nine residents were displaced Wednesday morning, after a blaze ripped through their El Cajon apartment complex.

Flames broke out around 5:17 a.m. in the 1,000 block of East Madison Avenue, near El Cajon Valley High School.

Heartland Fire and Rescue crews arrived to discover heavy fire and smoke coming from three sides of a single story duplex. While crews knocked down the two-alarm fire within 10 minutes, some residents were forced to evacuate their homes.

Before crews got there, a neighbor jumped into action, helping the family of four out of their burning apartment. He says he smelled smoke as he was getting ready for work. He opened his front door to see heavy fire shooting through his neighbor's roof.

"I went and got one of them. When I came outside, when I stepped out, I grabbed her, the older daughter and put her in my home. And then, uh, I was actually going back there, thought I would have to run in, but he went in and got his daughter. And they came out and said that everyone was out, but they lost their pet,” said neighbor Eddie Foster.

The Red Cross is assisting the nine displaced residents. Ahe family dog died in the blaze and a cat is still missing.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and damage is estimated at $150,000.