A smoke alarm awakened a sleeping homeowner in Livermore early Friday to a raging fire in the home's garage, giving him enough time to escape the blaze through a bedroom window and call 911.
Michael Miller, Battalion Chief of the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department, said firefighters were on the scene within minutes and were able to extinguish the fire at the home in the 5600 block of Oakmont Circle in the first 10 minutes.
The homeowner met firefighters when they arrived, telling them he was the only occupant at the time except for a pet chinchilla, which was rescued.
Miller said the homeowner, who was not identified, said that when he heard the alarm and opened his bedroom door, he found the house filled with smoke and saw a glow from the fire. The smoke detector saved his life, Miller added.
A total of 22 firefighters from the LPFD and Alameda County fire departments and Livermore police worked at the scene until the fire was completely extinguished by 2:30 a.m.
The fire was contained to the garage, but the home was deemed uninhabitable due to damage sustained in the blaze.
Miller said the fire started in the garage and the cause is under investigation. Total damage to the home was estimated at $130,000.