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CALIFORNIA BRIEFING / LAKE FOREST

Marines help out during motel fire

November 10, 2008|Rebecca Trounson

Eight U.S. Marines staying in a Lake Forest motel spotted smoke and flames coming from the structure early Sunday and raced through the halls to warn and help evacuate about 100 guests, fire officials said.

The Marines, who were on leave after basic training at Camp Pendleton, noticed the fire about 8 a.m. as they were checking out of the Americas Best Value Inn, said Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion of the Orange County Fire Authority.

"They organized themselves and knocked on doors and got everyone out," Concepcion said. "What they did was very courageous."

He said two people, a Marine and a firefighter, were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

No other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

-- Rebecca Trounson

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