SAN DIEGO — A retirement-age couple who recently paid off their mortgage were left homeless Thursday by a fire that tore through their Bay Terraces house.
The non-injury blaze erupted for unknown reasons in a bedroom of the single-story residence in the 500 block of Parkwood Drive about 12:30 p.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
The residents — a woman, 66, and her 78-year-old husband, who uses a wheelchair — were able to get out safely along with their caretaker and a 2- year-old neighbor boy, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.
It took crews about a half-hour to extinguish the flames, which caused an estimated $150,000 worth of structural damage and destroyed about $75,000 worth of contents.
Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the blaze, though they ruled it accidental in nature, Luque said.
The couple told firefighters they had just finished paying for the house but had let their homeowners’ insurance lapse, he said.
The American Red Cross was called in to aid the displaced residents, along with officials from the Rock Church of Point Loma, which offers a program for such emergency assistance through the city fire department, Luque said.