A smoke alarm alerted a sleeping Atwater resident Wednesday afternoon to a fire growing in his kitchen, allowing the man time to report the blaze and escape without injury, Atwater fire officials said.
Flames broke out about 5 p.m. inside an apartment complex in the 2800 block of Determine Drive, said Battalion Chief Jeremy Rahn of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Merced County.
“This is another example of the value of having working smoke alarms in your home,” Rahn said.
Twelve firefighters from Cal Fire and Atwater responded to battle the flames, which were extinguished by 5:15 p.m. The fire caused about $5,000 in damage, but firefighters managed to save about $280,000 in property, according to Rahn.
Firefighters said the man had apparently been cooking something when he fell asleep.
No one was injured. No other damage was reported.
It was not clear if the resident would be displaced by the fire damage.