A local woman was in her car on the way to the airport for a trip when a fire broke out in her kitchen Monday, according to Santa Monica Fire Department PIO Captain Patrick Nulty. No one was hurt during the 7 a.m. fire but two dogs had to be rescued from the smoke-filled unit.

Fire fighters received multiple 911 calls reporting a fire at the two-story apartment complex on the 1400 block of 26th Street. Dozens of firefighters arrived five minutes later, with several forcing their way into the unit.

Nulty says the first responders were on their hands and knees crawling under the smoke when two small dogs ran over to them.

“Fortunately, they were able to get there as quickly as they did because the fire was starting to get going pretty good in the apartment,” Nulty said. “If it had taken longer the dogs wouldn’t have had a chance.”

The dogs were not hurt before they were quickly brought outside to safety. It took 23 SMFD firefighters less than twenty minutes to put out the blaze, limiting most of the fire damage to the one apartment.

“Animal Control was out there and they found one of her neighbors who was going to watch out for the dogs until (the tenant) got back,” Nulty said. Upon learning about the fire, the dogs’ owner immediately turned around the car and returned home.

The smoke alarms inside the unit appear to be functioning properly. Investigators have not yet determined how the fires started.

Firefighters carry specialized equipment that have helped save family pets in the past. In Oct., firefighters found a dog panting under a desk inside a burning apartment by using a thermal imaging camera. That dog was one of at least two pets in 2017 to receive oxygen from a pet oxygen mask carried by SMFD. Those pieces of equipment were not necessary during the early morning rescue Monday.



Kate Cagle

Senior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Press