Encinitas fire heavily damages two homes, teen rescues one resident

(File photo)

A teenage boy rushed into a burning Encinitas home late Thursday night, Dec. 12, and helped an older man get out safely before firefighters got there, he and his brother told reporters.

The man’s home, and an adjoining one, on Stafford Avenue, were heavily damaged by the flames, which also charred vehicles in the garage and driveway, a fire official said. He said downed live power lines in front of the homes made it difficult for firefighters to get to the buildings.

Aidan Cohen told OnSceneTV that he and his older brother were in the kitchen, eating a snack, when they heard an explosion as if a transformer had just blown.

They went to their porch and saw two of their neighbors’ homes in flames. Cohen said they called 911 and got their parents out of their home and started to train a hose on their home.

Cohen said they yelled their neighbor’s name, then went to his house.

“I went in and had to get him out,” Cohen said. “He was out of it. He didn’t know the house was on fire. It was all quick.”

He added, “It was very nice to be able to help him out.”

His older brother, Ryan Cohen, told NBC 7 that he was proud of Aidan for going in to rescue the man.

The fire broke out shortly before 11 p.m. Power lines dangled around a pickup in the driveway of one home, according to OnSceneTV video.

Encinitas Deputy Fire Chief Robert Ford told OnScene the lines were sparking as they touched the ground. Crews from Solana Beach, Carlsband and Rancho Santa Fe helped attack the flames, but Ford said they had to wait for San Diego Gas & Electric Co. crews to shut off power to the lines before firefighters could fully extinguish hot spots.

Both garages were destroyed and the houses above the garages were heavily damaged, Ford said. The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

— Pauline Repard is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune