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Residents help with house fire

By: Laura Newell/Telegraph Staff Writer
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An afternoon house fire displaced the residents, sent one to an area hospital and caused extensive damage to the single family residence. Fire officials responded to a call of a house fire on Park Drive in El Dorado Hills around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Home owner Don Frietas was in the home along with his two Chihuahuas, two cats and a bird. “I was on the stove cooking for the dogs and the vapors went up,” said Freitas, who is in his mid-70s. He said he quickly called 911 on his cell phone. Battalion Chief Antonio Moreno said fire trucks responded within two minutes of the call to the structure fire to the scene where smoke could be seen coming from the roof of the burning home. Moreno said the fire started in the kitchen and there was damage on the first and second floors to the attic. “Attic fires are difficult because they are a contained space, it was well established in the attic,” Moreno said. As of press time the Freitas family were unsure of where they would be staying. After the fire started, three area residents jumped in to help. Recent Oakridge graduate, Jourdan Hitchings, 17, was driving behind local resident Veronica Pearson. Pearson was driving her kids home at the time. “I was pretty confused,” said Hitchings. “The woman (Pearson) in front of me was watching the fire and hit my car, so we both jumped out. She told me to watch her kids, and I did. “She ran in to see if anyone was there and I waited outside. She ran out coughing and was taken to the hospital,” said Hitchings. Pearson’s condition was not immediately available. All the animals were safely removed from the house.