Kitchen fire leaves family homeless

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EL CAJON, Calif. — Five family members were displaced, and their pet dog died, in an early morning kitchen fire Saturday.

Heartland Fire & Rescue crews about 6:30 a.m. responded to reports of a structure fire at 610 Van Houten Ave., El Cajon PIO Monica Zech said.

“Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the attic area of a single-family home,” Zech said. “Quick action by Heartland firefighters from El Cajon and La Mesa had the fire extinguished in 15 minutes.”

Although the fire was contained to the kitchen, there was heavy heat and smoke damage to the entire house, Zech said.

“Damage has been estimated at $250,000 including structure and contents,” Zech said.

Zech said five family members, an adult and four children, who were not home when the blaze started, were displaced by the blaze. She said the American Red Cross is assisting them with temporary shelter.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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