Residents were evacuated and two homes were damaged Friday by an evening fire that started in a garage at 3026 Keith Ave. in Castro Valley.
The Alameda County Fire Department responding at 9:30 p.m. Friday to the fire found the garage fully involved and sounded a second alarm.
Residents in the home and a neighboring house were evacuated safely thanks to the action of two off-duty police officers and one retired Alameda County Fire Department captain.
"One off-duty police officer, J. Kalsbeek, from the San Leandro Police Department, threw a flower pot through a window to get the residents attention after yells and knocks on the windows and door went unanswered," the department said in a news release.
Kalsbeek, another off-duty officer and and retired ACFD Capt. Bruce Armstrong entered the home and helped the two residents get out safely. Armstrong also rescues Samie, the family's one-year-old dog, who was hiding underneath a bed.
The three residents and a dog at 3018 Keith Ave. also exited their home safely.
The Castro Valley office of the California Highway Patrol, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Paramedics Plus and PG&E also responded to the fire.
Nobody was injured and the evacuated families declined Red Cross housing assistance.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.