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East Ventura Focus

THOUSAND OAKS : Home Fire Survivor Thanks Her Rescuers

June 03, 1993|BRENDA DAY

Ventura County firefighters anxiously facing drastic budget cuts have a new champion: a Thousand Oaks woman pulled to safety this week from her burning home without a scratch.

On Wednesday, just one day after Cathy Ellis, 38, was rescued from the flames that destroyed her home, she stopped by Fire Station 30 to thank the three-man crew that saved her life.

"I can't even think of the word that could cover it," Ellis said to firefighter Jack Nosco, who carried her out of a bedroom window. " 'Thank you' isn't enough."

But Ellis doesn't plan to stop there, she said, accepting an invitation from county Fire Chief George Lund to attend next Tuesday's meeting of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors, where the fire crew will be honored.

"What do you say to people who saved your life, except these guys are desperately needed," Ellis said. "I will do whatever I can to help."

County supervisors are considering a controversial $110-per-home tax to save 18 of the county's 31 fire stations from closure because of state funding cuts.

The board is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the issue June 22 and vote June 29 on whether to put the proposal on an upcoming ballot for the voters.

Ellis was saved when Nosco heard her scream and found her crouched near her bedroom window surrounded by smoke and flames. He slid the window open, bent over the frame and scooped her up, he said.

"Usually, you pull them out dead," Nosco said. "She could have ended up that way had there been any delay."

Ellis said she doesn't remember anything about the early morning blaze except that she was awakened by her door blowing open. She was treated for smoke inhalation but by Wednesday, she was feeling "great."

The blaze, blamed on faulty wiring, caused $140,000 damage to the house at 440 Shenandoah St. and destroyed $15,000 worth of its contents.

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