An 8-year-old boy who woke up to smoke and fire in his Whittier home early Wednesday morning managed to wake up the five other members of his family in the house and get them out before anyone was seriously harmed, officials said.
"The family is actually very lucky," said Los Angeles County fire Capt. Brian Jordan. "The 8-year-old smelled the smoke, woke up and started the wake-up process for everyone in the home."
Fire crews responded to the blaze in the 12700 block of East Beverly Boulevard just before 4:30 a.m.
Jordan said the first paramedics on the scene saw fire and smoke coming out of the second-story windows.
Officials said they believe the fire was caused by an overloaded electrical outlet.
"Fortunately, the 8-year-old's nose transmitted information to the brain to wake him up. Normally, smoke actually gets to your nose and renders you unconscious while you sleep," Jordan said.
The boy's actions during the emergency, which Jordan said included some techniques he learned doing fire drills at school, appear to have been even more important because the home did not have working smoke detectors.
Once they arrived, fire crews were able to quickly knock down the blaze.