2 Hurt Trying to Save Cat From Fire

A man and his daughter suffered minor injuries early Friday while trying to rescue a pet cat from inside the family's burning home, county Fire Department officials said.

The cat perished but another family cat and two dogs survived.

A malfunctioning microwave sparked the blaze shortly before 5 a.m. at 2062 Belmar Court, said Fire Department spokeswoman Sandi Wells.

George and Debbie Nasser were asleep in the master bedroom when their dogs alerted them to smoke pouring from the vents, Wells said. The couple then woke their daughters and fled outside.

George Nasser ran back inside the burning home three times to search for the missing cat, Wells said. On his final trek, he tripped and fell near flames, burning his knees, hands and feet, Wells said.

Nasser's 21-year-old daughter, Kelly, suffered smoke inhalation when she went inside the home to search for the cat, Wells said. Debbie Nasser and the couple's 16-year-old daughter were not injured.

Both fire victims were treated at Simi Valley Hospital and released.

The house sustained $100,000 in damage and was considered a total loss, Wells said. The Red Cross was helping the family.

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