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Garage fire damages Saugus home

Posted: October 14, 2008 3:16 p.m.
Updated: December 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Tammy Shepper, left, tries to console Amanda Sahm after a fire ripped through the garage of Sahm's home Tuesday. Sahm raced home from Saugus High School after she heard about the fire. She got home in time to save her three dogs.

Firefighters and neighbors joined forces to save a Saugus home from burning to the ground Tuesday morning.

The garage at 27372 Garza Drive in Saugus caught fire at 10:37 a.m., Wednesday morning, said Capt. Michael Freeman of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Wooden crates and loose items stored alongside the garage ignited and the flames sparked a fire in the eave of the garage, he said.

The fire burned in the garage attic and did about $50,000 in damage before it was extinguished at 10:54 a.m., Freeman said. What caused the crates to catch fire is under investigation, he said.

The smell of smoke snatched Tevin Gibson from a sound sleep. "I didn't think it was a house fire. For a second I thought it was from the wildfires," he said. Gibson ran to his front yard to see the house across the street on fire.

"You could barely see the house, there was so much smoke," Gibson said. He called Amanda Sahm, 17, on her cell phone. She lives in the burning house and attends Saugus High School. She was in class as the fire raged.

"My first thought was to get all the dogs out of the house," Sahm said as she held her Yorkshire Terrier Zoe. She called her mother to tell her the bad news and rushed home.

The firefighters arrived minutes after Gibson reported the fire. To keep the flames from engulfing the house, three Time Warner Cable employees grabbed a garden hose from a neighbor's house and tried to fight the fire.

"We thought someone might be inside," Conrado Hernandez said.

"I don't know what we lost," owner Dale Sahm said. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she snapped pictures of the damage. "I wasn't concerned about my house during all this. I've paid more attention to the fires burning around us," she said referring to the Marek and Sesnon wildfires.


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