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OXNARD : Girl’s Efforts Save Father in House Fire

A 10-year-old Oxnard girl, awakened by a smoke alarm early Wednesday morning, alerted firefighters and saved her father from a fire that did $80,000 in damage to their Ivywood Drive home, the Oxnard Fire Department reported.

One firefighter was injured in the two-alarm blaze that burned for nearly 45 minutes. Firefighter Dan Gildea received second-degree burns on his back after a piece of melting aluminum fell on him. The department sent 13 firefighters and three engines to fight the fire, which started about 4:30 a.m.

Paula Matakiewicz discovered the fire when she woke to the sound of the smoke alarm. She tried to wake her father and when he did not wake up, she called the 911 emergency line, said her uncle, Paul Matakiewicz. She shook her father again and then ran from the flaming house. He then woke up and jumped through a window to safety.

“Evidently, he was oblivious to what was going on, and his little girl saved his life,” Battalion Chief Clarence Slayton said. The father, Robert Mietchry, suffered cuts from the window glass. The fire destroyed the living room, kitchen and patio.

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Officials are focusing on the kitchen stove as the source of the fire, Slayton said.


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