Costa Mesa firefighters rescued a woman and her dog late Tuesday night, after her fire alarms alerted neighbors to a blaze that had broken out in the 2100 block of Canyon Drive, authorities said.
Residents of the townhome complex reported hearing the alarms just before midnight, according to a Costa Mesa Fire Department news release.
When firefighters arrived on scene, they heard a woman screaming for help, as heavy smoke filled her kitchen, the release said.
Firefighters broke into the locked home and found the woman on the floor, according to the release. They carried her outside, where she was briefly treated, then taken to a nearby hospital for further medical evaluation, it said.
Rescuers also found the woman's small, fluffy dog upstairs and handed it off to Costa Mesa Animal Services, Fire Chief Dan Stefano said.
Ultimately, more than 25 firefighters from Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley, along with Costa Mesa police officers responded to the blaze, which was determined to be accidental, according to the news release.
The fire caused between $7,000 and $10,000 of damage, mostly from smoke, Stefano said, while damage from flames was largely limited to the oven area in the kitchen.
Stefano stressed that the fire was a prime example of how working smoke detectors can save lives.
"We want to emphasize that fact on this one," he said. "This success story was because the neighbor heard the alarm, called 911 and got us there quickly."
He urged community members to regularly check their smoke alarm systems.