Crews battling brush fire near SR-94 in Campo

Grandparents ‘lose everything’ in El Cajon house fire

EL CAJON, Calif. – A fire that engulfed an El Cajon home killed the family's cat and caused about $350,000 worth of damage, authorities said Thursday.

The blaze was reported just before 11 p.m. Wednesday at a home in the 900 block of Gladys Street, a short cul-de-sac just off North Mollison Avenue east of state Route 67, Heartland Fire & Rescue spokesman Sonny Saghera said. The first firefighters to respond found heavy smoke coming from the rear of the home.

"Firefighters discovered the rear of the house, as well as the back patio, fully involved with fire," Saghera said. "The fire was contained within 15 minutes. No neighboring structures were affected, however, there was significant smoke damage throughout the residence."

All human occupants of the home evacuated safely before firefighters arrived, but a pet cat was killed in the flames. One man was assessed at the scene for smoke inhalation but not taken to a hospital.

In interviews with media at the scene and on a GoFundMe page, grandchildren of the home's residents said the couple had lived in the home for more than 50 years.

"My grandparents lost everything in an electrical fire last night, they have lived in this home for 50+ years and it has been the hub for our whole family," Marc Spalsbury wrote on the GoFundMe page. "We are so grateful that everyone got out unharmed but there isn't much left at all."

A photograph posted to the fundraising site showed the scorched home with its windows broken out and burned rubble strewn around a blackened yard.

"The daylight showed (how) bad it really is, it's all gone," Spalsbury wrote in an update.

Heartland fire crews from an El Cajon station responded to the blaze assisted by the San Miguel Fire Protection District, Santee Fire Department and Lakeside Fire Protection District, Saghera said. The cause of the fire was still under investigation Thursday morning.