OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Residents who woke up to their Oakland apartment building in flames early Wednesday morning credit the barking of a neighbor’s dog for their safe escape.

The two-alarm fire was reported in the 1400 block of 39th Avenue around 2:40 a.m. By the time fire personnel arrived, all of the residents had safely evacuated, including a pit bull-mix rescue dog named “Pekita” whose owner said she saved his life and the lives of everyone in the apartment building because of her barking.

“When I went out to the living room, I saw the place was on fire so I grabbed my roommate and her and ran out of the place,” Pekita’s owner Julio Cruz said.

The blaze, which started in an apartment unit on the ground floor and spread to the second floor, was under control shortly after 3 a.m.

The American Red Cross was called to assist 17 people, five of them children, displaced by fire.

Battalion Chief Coy Justice said it was “fortunate that no one got hurt” given how fast the fire spread.

The four apartment units in the two-story building are now considered uninhabitable, according to Justice.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.


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