EL RIO : Teen-Agers Rescue Pets, Boat From Fire

Three teen-agers saved two dogs and a motorboat from a fire that consumed part of Denis and Anne Marie Doucette’s El Rio home Tuesday afternoon.

Before firefighters arrived at the scene, Mark Smith, 18, and Thomas Ely and John Dawson, both 19, ran down Minna Street to see what they could do to help, Dawson said.

Numerous calls were received by Ventura County Fire Department about 2:10 p.m., and firefighters had the blaze under control by 2:27.

Smith said he threw the two dogs over a six-foot fence at the home in the 3300 block of Minna Street and they landed safely.


“I wasn’t going to wait on the gate,” he said. He said the family cat fled and was not harmed, but the Doucette children’s pet snakes and rats died in the house.

Smith, Ely and Dawson pushed the boat across the street to a neighbor’s driveway, knocking the Doucettes’ mailbox askew.

“We were in a hurry to get the boat out,” Dawson said.

Denis Doucette didn’t know about the fire until he rounded the corner of Simon Way and Minna Street and saw firefighters chopping charred pieces off his house roof, he said.


No damage figures were available.