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Kids Rescued from Burning Apartment

Two-alarm blaze in southern Novato traced to unattended pot on the stove.

Three kids were rescued from an apartment on fire Saturday evening in Novato, and Novato Fire District investigators believe an unattended pot on the stove was to blame.

Screams for help were heard at about 5:25 p.m. in the Green Oaks area off Marin Valley Drive, just south of the Hamilton neighborhood and just east of Highway 101. Several people called 911 to report a fire in a three-story apartment building, and Novato fire personnel arrived to find three kids trapped on the second-floor apartment's balcony, Novato Fire Division chief Mark Heine said.

Three fire engines, a ladder truck, an ambulance and a battalion chief tackled the blaze at 1012 Green Oaks Drive before a second alarm was called at 5:36 p.m. Additional assistance came from Marinwood and San Rafael fire departments, Heine said.

Firefighters stretched hose lines and entered the apartment, finding the fire centered in the kitchen. The flames were extinguished and the kids were rescued from the balcony.  Paramedics evaluated them and declared them uninjured, so they were released to relatives, Heine said.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the fire started from an unattended pot on the stove. The kids were in a bedroom when the blaze began and a smoke detector went off, according to the report. One child opened the bedroom door and saw the fire, then retreated with the others to the balcony and yelled for help, Heine said.

Firefighters arrived within 4 minutes of the emergency calls, he said. Novato police aided with traffic control near the fire scene.

The Novato Fire District reminds residents to never leave cooking materials unattended and to check your smoke detectors often.

If you were at the scene and took photos or video, just click "upload" and share your shots.

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Lou Judson February 03, 2013 at 08:33 AM
Great rescue! But who left the pot on the stove, and where were parents? Freidn of mine lost her entire house from the same cause a few years ago... Danger to leave stoves on if not being observed!
Pat Nims February 03, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Many thanks to NFD

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