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.
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On Friday, June 28, 2019, at 9:31PM, Alameda County firefighters responded to a fully involved garage fire at 3026 Keith Avenue in Castro Valley. Due to the proximity to exposures and full involvement of the garage, a second alarm response was requested and additional units responded to the fire. Prior to the arrival of firefighters, two off-duty police officers and one retired Alameda County Fire Department (ACFD) @alamedacofire Captain evacuated the one-story house to ensure the two occupants and their dog were safe. The occupants were sleeping and unaware their garage was on fire. One off-duty police officer, J. Kalsbeek, from the San Leandro Police Department @SanLeandroPD, threw a flower pot through a window to get the residents attention after yells and knocks on the windows and door went unanswered. The other off-duty police officer (who wishes to remain anonymous) and retired ACFD Captain, Bruce Armstrong, joined Kalsbeek in making entry to the house and quickly assisting the two occupants safely out of the home. Armstrong was able to rescue Samie, the one-year-old family dog that was hiding underneath a bed. The 2-alarm fire extended to the neighboring residence at 3018 Keith Avenue. Three occupants and one dog were also able to safely exit their home prior to the arrival of firefighters. The cause of the fire is under investigation. There were no reports of injuries. Between the two homes damaged by the fire, a total of five people and two dogs were temporarily displaced. Assistance from the Red Cross was declined by both families as they were able to secure alternate housing arrangements with family members nearby. CHP Castro Valley, the Alameda County Sheriffs Office, Paramedics Plus and PG&E also responded to support the incident. (Video Credit: Bruce Armstrong)