SAN DIEGO - A 4-year-old girl alerted her family to a fire burning in the master bedroom of a house in the La Jolla Thursday.
Crews arrived to fight the blaze shortly before 9:15 a.m. at a single-story house in the 2200 block of Calle Guaymas near Cardeno Drive, San Diego Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.
Kristina Nava told FOX 5 she and her family were at home at the time. She said she smelled something strange.
"I was making my daughter something to eat in the oven, and I smelled a chemical smell," said Nava. "My daughter, who is autistic, also noticed something was wrong. We went to the master bedroom and it was engulfed in black smoke."
Nava and her family managed to evacuate the home safely before crews arrived.
Firefighters told FOX 5 that when they arrived flames were shooting about 20 feet in the air. They later said it was coming from a skylight located in the back room where the family kept valuables, including family photos.
"My husband went back inside and said everything is gone," Nava said. "Photos, you know the stuff that matters."
Investigators said the fire was accidental and sparked by some kind of electrical malfunction in a closet in the master bedroom. They estimated that it caused $500,000 damage to the structure and about $150,000 in damage to belongings.
The Red Cross was helping the family find temporary shelter.