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‘It’s pretty traumatizing:’ Landlord drags woman from burning home

SPRING VALLEY, Calif. – A woman was dragged out a Spring Valley home by her friend and landlord Sunday as flames destroyed it.

Charlene Herman and landlord Les Hershberger were among six people inside the home on the 10000 block of Don Pico Road shortly after noon when a fire broke out.

“When I ran out to see what’s burning, the whole outside patio room was just engulfed in flames” said Hershberger.

“It was so hot, like all over your skin hot. I thought I was going to be burnt,” said Herman, who was dragged out of the house. “I’ve never been through a fire like that. It’s my first time so it’s pretty traumatizing."

Cal Fire Captain Issac Sanchez said firefighters battled the blaze from the outside and focused on keeping it from spreading to nearby homes. The fire was extinguished by 12:30 p.m.

Hershberger said four of his six dogs made it out safely, one died and another is still missing as of Sunday evening.

The American Red Cross is also helping the residents.

One person who suffered burns to the back and arms and another victim who was burned and suffered smoke inhalation were taken by ambulance to the UC San Diego Medical Center Burn Unit.

One person who was injured from a fall and another smoke inhalation victim declined medical treatment, Sanchez said.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department Bomb Arson Unit responded to help determine the cause of the fire and assess the monetary damage to the house and its contents.

Hershberger said he recently asked a seventh tenant to leave before the home went up in flames.