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A maintenance man helped douse an apartment fire in Rodeo on Tuesday.

SAN PABLO -- A maintenance man with a little bit of emergency training proved to be a dog's best friend Tuesday after a fire broke out at an apartment complex, a battalion chief said.

Fire crews revived the gray Shih Tzu with oxygen after the man's quick response doused the flames in the apartment and kept the fire from spreading, Batallion Chief Bryan Craig of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District said. The blaze, in an upstairs unit in the complex at 1320 Road 20, caused no other injuries.

The man who put out the fire was not identified.

"We actually don't know very much about him," Craig said. "He said he'd taken a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training course, and that without it, he wouldn't have attempted it."

The fire was set off by a cigarette left unattended by a woman living in the unit, Craig said.

When crews arrived at the fire at about 5:20 p.m., smoke was billowing out an upstairs window but the flames were out. Once inside, firefighters found the dog unconscious. An emergency medical technician administered the oxygen and the dog stirred, Craig said. The dog, which was suffering from smoke inhalation, is expected to make a full recovery, he said.

Only one building was damaged in the blaze, but no monetary estimate was given.

Rick Hurd covers public safety. Contact him at 925-779-7166 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.



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