A neighbor and three teenage boys rescued two women and a pet dog from a two-alarm house fire in San Ramon on Monday that sent one of the women to the hospital.
The fire was reported around 10:05 a.m. at a home in the 100 block of Scarboro Place, according to San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District spokeswoman Kimberly French.
A short time earlier, 76-year-old Bob Smith and his wife heard what sounded like gunshots in the neighborhood and looked outside to see smoke coming from the back of their neighbor's home, Smith said.
As Smith rushed over to the house, three students from nearby California High School who were driving by stopped and came to help, he said.
As the three boys went to the back of the house to help the homeowner, a woman in her 70s, Smith went to the front porch and heard the woman's mother calling for help.
He said he entered the smoke-filled house and found the 94-year-old woman sitting on a chair. Unable to lift her himself, Smith called for the three teens, who "just dashed in, picked her up and brought her out," he said.
"She was completely dark with soot," Smith said.
The neighbor and teens also scooped up the woman's 18-year-old dog and brought it outside to safety, he said.
Smith said there were several oxygen tanks inside the home, which may have been what caused the popping sounds neighbors heard when the fire broke out. Fire investigators have not yet determined what caused the blaze.
Paramedics arrived on the scene and administered medical aid and the woman was taken via helicopter to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She was then transferred to a hospital burn unit in San Francisco, according to French.
An update on the woman's condition was not available.
Firefighters arrived and attacked the blaze, getting it out in about 45 minutes, the spokeswoman said.
The fire displaced the 94-year-old woman, her daughter and adult grandson and the American Red Cross was called for assistance. The grandson was at work at the time of the blaze, according to Smith.
French said the fire caused more than $400,000 in damage to the house and its contents.