Neighbors prevent raging house fire from spreading

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RANCHO PENASQUITOS, Calif. -- An electrical fire broke out in a Rancho Penasquitos home Tuesday, leaving two people displaced but no one was injured.

Firefighters responded to reports of a fire around 5:30 p.m. at 9170 Newmont Drive, but had trouble getting inside the house, said Capt. Joe Amador of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

“It took a long time to get to the feed of the fire (because of the) amount of items in the house,'' Amador said.

Two people were inside eating dinner when the blaze started. Neighbors fought against the leaping flames to prevent the fire from spreading until firefighters arrived.

The blaze took firefighters about 90 minutes to extinguish because “things kept lighting off,'' Amador said.

A preliminary investigation found the fire was accidental, though investigators were not able to determine where it started, Amador said.

"What I'm thankful for is the firemen, that really helps a lot, that contained the fire. But first of all, I really thank God that we are spared," said Erma Pimintel, the homeowner.

The fire caused about $300,000 in damage to the main structure, $150,000 in damage to contents inside the home and another $5,000 in damage to neighboring buildings, Amador said.