On Saturday afternoon, a family home in the Oak Park neighborhood of San Diego went up in flames. Neighbors watched on in horror as a fire engulfed the house and smoke spread through their block.
“We couldn’t even go near where the fire was because of the fumes and everything,” Rene Dominguez recalled to KSWB.
But amazingly, the residents made it out of the home. And while they were hospitalized after the incident, they are alive and recovering—all thanks to the most unlikely hero.
Residential fire at 5400 Grape St. at about 2 pm today. Two adults and 1 child taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Crews prevented spread of fire to nearby homes. Investigators looking into the cause. #teamwork #firefighters pic.twitter.com/8etPBW44Cg
— SDFD (@SDFD) February 3, 2018
When the Cox family’s home first caught fire, only one person in the family noticed:
Even though the youngest member of the household was the first person aware of the emergency, she handled the situation with surprising level-headedness.
“Most little girls at seven years old would back up and get scared,” family friend Kristian Giordano explained. “She went back and jumped the fire and then yelled for her grandma.”
In a remarkable coincidence, firefighters had just recently visited Alexandria’s school to talk about fire safety. So when disaster struck, the young girl was prepared.
She dialed 911 and got to work alerting her family members, waking up her father, Steve Cox—and just in the nick of time.
“Steve barely made it out, honestly,” Giordano recalled.
The family was soon evacuating the house, and Alexandria alerted neighbors to the fire. Soon firefighters arrived and kept the flames from spreading to the home’s attic.
Alexandria, her father and grandmother were all hospitalized for smoke inhalation, but all are making a full recovery (the only casualty of the fire, unfortunately, was Alex’s pet rabbit.)
But the family narrowly avoided a deadly catastrophe, all thanks to their quick-thinking child.
“Alex is strong, she’s already off oxygen,” Giordano told KSWB. “It’s a very close call. God bless her.”