A woman made a dramatic escape from a second-floor bedroom as fire consumed a house in South Taft early Thursday.
Kern County Fire Battalion Chief Brent Moon said the woman was alone in the house on the 200 block of Eastern Avenue when she was awakened by smoke, fire and a smoke alarm sounding about 2:30 a.m.
The woman, whose identity was not released, was able to exit the bedroom, jump onto the roof of a covered patio at the rear of the home and got down with help from the neighbors.
She suffered only scratches from her ordeal, Moon said.
Moon said the woman's narrow escape points out the need for working smoke detectors and an escape plan in case of fire.
He said the fire could have been worse. The woman is married and has two small children, aged two and six, but they were staying elsewhere when the fire broke out.
"It could have been a lot difference. She barely made it out herself," Moon said. "Having a smoke detector can save a life."
When firefighters arrived and found the 1,600-square foot home heavily involved with smoke and fire, with the flames starting to burn a fence and threatening the home to the south.
Firefighters were able to hold the fire to the one home.
An engine and truck from Taft, plus engines from Maricopa, Fellows and McKittrick responded to the fire.
Moon said the family had only recently purchased the home and moved in two weeks ago.
Damage is estimated at about $40,000 to the home and contents.
The cause is still under investigation, but an electrical problem "can't be ruled out," Moon said.