Boy escapes fire in El Centro home

February 26, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

El Centro firefighters credited an 11-year-old boy for doing exactly what he should after a fire erupted at his house this morning.

Michael Magaña smelled smoke in the laundry room, then saw flames starting to spread.

Michael, alone in the house after his mother, Amanda, left for work, grabbed a cell phone, ran out of the house and called for help.

"He got the heck out of the house and made the call," said El Centro fire Battalion Chief Chris Petree, adding that is textbook action for what should be done; get to safety and call for help.

Michael remained at the scene as firefighters arrived and told them there was no one inside the house.

Firefighters were called shortly before 7 a.m. It took nine firefighters about 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze in the 1000 block of Hamilton Avenue.


By the time firefighters arrived the blaze had spread to the kitchen, with flames shooting out windows and smoke billowing from the front door.

Petree said the clothes dryer was operating when the fire started.

There were no injuries reported in the blaze and Petree estimated the fire caused about $45,000 damage.

Amanda Magaña said, "It's just stuff."

She added she is grateful her son was not hurt.

"I had just left for work and he was getting ready to go to school," she said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation this morning.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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