Tammy Marquez of San Ramon just wanted to go back to sleep. She didn't know she was saving a life.
Around 2 a.m. on Aug. 1, Marquez was awakened by a smoke alarm going off in her San Ramon apartment complex. After waiting about 10 minutes, she called 911.
Good thing she did.
San Ramon Valley firefighters responded to the complex on the 4100 block of Crestfield Drive and found light smoke coming from an apartment near Marquez's.
The firefighters were able enter the unit through the back door and once inside they found the resident of the home unconscious on the living room floor.
The firefighters and paramedics worked quickly to extinguish the small kitchen fire and rescue the resident. The resident was taken to San Ramon Regional Medical Center; treated and later released.
“If you think you should call, you should call”, said Denise Pangelinan, Communication’s Manager for San Ramon Valley Fire. “This is a perfect example of how a 911 call saved a life.”
In a press release, the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District thanked Marquez for helping to save a life. They say her call to the Fire District not only allowed crews to rescue her neighbor but also stopped the fire from spreading to the rest of the building.
Marquez didn't think what she did was a huge deal, but said the lesson of the story is to call 911 when you hear a smoke alarm.
"I think we're kind of trained to stay out of other people's business," Marquez said. "But you just have to get over that. Don't assume it's a mistake. If you hear an alarm, call 911. Not only could this fire have killed someone, but it could have spread."
The fire department reminds residents to make sure they are changing their batteries to their smoke alarms twice a year and that there are alarms on each level of their home.