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MISSION VIEJO : Faulty Dryer Blamed in 2-Story House Fire

A two-alarm fire, apparently caused by the heat from a faulty clothes dryer, gutted a two-story home early Sunday morning. There were no injuries.

About 35 firefighters fought the blaze on Saddleback Drive for almost an hour early Sunday, County Fire Capt. Dan Young said.

Marilee Callaway, 51, and her 15-year-old son, Stuart, were asleep when the fire broke out in their garage about 4 a.m.

A neighbor, Colin Brake, broke their front window in an attempt to enter the house after he had pounded on the front door and heard no response, Young said.

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When Callaway opened the door, Brake, 55, rushed into the house and called out to her son, Young said. Brake then grabbed the two and pulled them across the street.

“That was quite a move on his part to get them both out of the house,” Young said.

The heat from a faulty clothes dryer in the garage apparently ignited flammable items nearby, Young said. Almost all of the second floor was gutted, and most of the contents on the ground floor were destroyed, said Young. Damage to the structure was estimated at $360,000. The fire also destroyed a roof next door, Young said.

“There was just an awful lot of combustibles in the garage,” Young said.

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