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Amateur Fireman Wins Praise From County Officials

May 23, 1986

Orange County firefighters praised an 18-year-old El Toro man Thursday for almost single-handedly extinguishing a dangerous garage fire with a garden hose.

Dave Alexander told authorities he was driving to work through Leisure World in Laguna Hills when he smelled smoke and stopped to investigate.

By the time firefighters arrived at the house at 5332-A Bahia Blanca, the fire inside the garage was almost out.

Alexander was reported in stable condition at Saddleback Community Hospital, where he was being treated for smoke inhalation, officials said.

County firefighters estimated damage at about $5,000. They said the fire was traced to a rag used in waxing a car, adding that the rag ignited spontaneously because the car wax on it contained petrochemicals that can heat up when exposed to oxygen in the air.

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