New Thermal Imaging Cameras Help OC Firefighters Rescue Sleeping Man From Apartment Fire

Orange County. Fire Authority firefighters were recently issued thermal imaging cameras that are worn on their turnouts. They proved useful during an apartment fire in Laguna Niguel.

A thermal imaging camera (inset) is pictured at the site of a fire in Laguna Niguel.

Firefighters rescued a sleeping man who was found with help from new thermal imaging devices after they knocked down a fire Monday morning at a two-story apartment in Laguna Niguel.

People called 911 at about 2 a.m. to report smoke coming from the building, according to the OCFA.

Firefighters used new, hand-held personal thermal imaging cameras to locate the sleeping man in a room that was not burning, the OCFA said. The device resembles a cellphone and is worn on each firefighter's turnout coat.

Paramedics took the man to a hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries, fire officials said. Firefighters quickly put out the flames.

Investigators determined the cause was unintentional, an OCFA statement said.

"Unable to eliminate improper disposal of smoking material as a cause,'' an OCFA statement said. Smoke alarms were present and working.''

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