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Owner alerted by dog escapes apartment fire

A pet pug may have saved its owner’s life when its barks alerted her to a fire rampaging through her apartment unit while she was in the shower.

The incident occurred at 9:44 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 at unit 203 in La Jolla Place Apartments at 5383 Chelsea Ave. in La Jolla.

“The dog was barking and she got out of the shower and found her living room on fire,” said Maurice Luque, Fire-Rescue Department spokesman. “She left the apartment and the door locked shut behind her and she could not get back in to get her dog.”

Luque said the fire occurred on the second floor of the three-story structure. He said four fire engines and two fire trucks with about 35 firefighting personnel were dispatched to the scene.

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“They had the fire knocked down in 15 minutes,” he said.

Firefighters later searched the apartment, recovering the animal which died from smoke inhalation.

The unidentified woman was not hurt and is staying with friends following the incident.

Damage estimates were $100,000 to the structure, $50,000 to its contents.

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Fire investigators believe the blaze was accidental and may have been caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.