CHULA VISTA, Calif. – A fire that began in a garage attached to a Chula Vista home displaced a family of five and burned about 1,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies Tuesday, but no one was injured.
The two adults and three teenagers who live in the home on East L Street near Agua Tibia Avenue were able to safely escape with a pet dog as the fire ignited for unknown reasons around 4:50 a.m.
"We woke up the girls and we went out to the backyard," said homeowner Lysa Perkins. “Then all the sudden we saw the flames coming out the roof while we’re in the backyard.”
Responding firefighters were able to corral the family's two cats into a bedroom while suppression efforts were underway, Chula Vista Battalion Chief Jeff Peter said.
The fire caused extensive damage to the garage and spread to the attic before it was extinguished, Peter said. A damage estimate was not immediately released, but at $5 a piece, the value of the cookies destroyed in the fire was approximately $5,000.
Peter said the family would likely be displaced "for several weeks, if not more," and reminded people to make sure the smoke detectors in their homes are in working order.
Perkins is a Girl Scout leader for a full troop including her three daughters. FOX 5 was at the Perkins' house just two days prior to the fire – covering the troop as they sold cookies outside the house.
Some of the same girls returned Tuesday concerned for whom they call their “Cookie Mom” and for their friends.
Despite losing a home and all of her family’s personal belongings, one of Perkins other big concerns was the Girl Scout cookies.
“Over 1,000 boxes of cookies and the cookies range from $5 to $6 per box - that’s a significant amount of money that was lost in this fire,” Perkins said.
The Girl Scout Council said they'll replace the cookies.
Perkins is already finding the positive side of an unfortunate accident.
“When the firefighters were bringing out all the stuff out of the garage, it was quite a scene. We had one thin mint box on fire and then a box that was untouched…so buy thin mints!”
An online fundraiser has been set up for the Perkins family.