East County apartment fire leaves 10 without a home

SAN DIEGO -- Fire officials worked quickly to put out a fire at an East County apartment building Thursday morning, but not before it severely damaged two units and killed a family pet.

Officials say the blaze caused more than $200,000 in damage. A cat died in the fire, though no people were injured.

The flames erupted at the home on Austin Drive, near the post office and Sweetwater Springs Community School, around 10 a.m.

A resident told FOX 5 that the fire started in a closet. "My mom went upstairs to see where the alarm sound was coming from. She noticed smoke was coming from my sister's closet and when she opened it smoke hit her in the face," explained Whaketa Brown. "We got everything we could and ran out the house."

A second residence sustained smoke damage and was left with ventilation holes cut in its roof by firefighters trying to release heat and smoke from the building.

By 10:30 a.m., San Miguel Fire crews the flames were extinguished and officials were beginning their investigation.

Fire crews said 10 people -- six adults and four kids -- were temporarily without a home after the fire. The Red Cross was helping them find a place to sleep.