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Bellflower man rescued from house fire

August 12, 2012 | 11:15 am

An 85-year-old Bellflower man escaped serious injury after sheriff's deputies and one of his neighbors rescued him from his burning home, authorities said Sunday.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies responded to the home in the 9500 block of Rose Street on Saturday afternoon. When they got there, they heard cries for help from inside and saw black smoke billowing from the roof, authorities said.

Security bars on the doors and windows kept rescuers from getting inside. A deputy pulled the bars off one window and smashed the glass, but the opening was too small to gain entry, authorities said. However, a 59-year-old man in the neighborhood who was small enough to squeeze through the opening climbed inside and opened a kitchen door for deputies.

The elderly homeowner was then carried by deputies out of the burning house.

"We are certainly proud of our deputies, but the victim was also very fortunate to have a neighbor brave enough to climb through iron bars into a burning house to save him,” said Capt. Mike Parker of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

Two deputies suffered minor smoke inhalation and were taken to the hospital for overnight observation, a county fire department official said. The 85-year-old man was treated for his injuries at a hospital and released.

The house sustained approximately $30,000 in damage. Officials labeled the fire an accident but did not have information on the specific cause.

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— David Zahniser

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