Teen helps save burning home, leaves note to pay it forward

The wildfires in and around San Diego sent plenty of people running for safety, but one teenager rushed into danger to save a stranger's home.

As CBS affiliate KFMB reports, 17-year-old Chris Simmons was among many people who had stopped in San Marcos to snap photos of the Cocos Fire. But when Simmons heard community member say their personal belongings were engulfed in flames, the teenager's Boy Scouts experience kicked in.

"I can't just stand around and watch them suffer," Simmons told the station.

Simmons walked past a police barricade and helped an injured man to safety. He then cut his forearm breaking glass to get a fire extinguisher so he could help put out a burning house fence.

"I was stepping on their white carpet to get to the kitchen - and I realized, these people are gonna think someone tried to burglarize their house," Simmons said.

The teenager left a note asking the person to pay it forward.

"We went inside and that's when we saw the note stuck on a frame on my wall from Chris," homeowner, Todd Smith said.

Smith says his backyard is burned but his home is intact, so he was amused that the bottom of the blood-stained note said: "Sorry about the carpet."

The note also says "return the favor to others."

"I think you need to recognize someone when they do something special like that, and that kid definitely did something special," Smith said.

Simmons said he plans to join the Navy after he graduates Vista High School and he wants to be a doctor.