SAN DIEGO -- A family in Scripps Ranch was left without a place to sleep after a fire ripped through their home Sunday morning, officials said.
The fire was reported around 9:15 a.m. on Caminito Alto near Pomerado Road, said San Diego-Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Dave Seneviratne.
The homeowners were not at the house when the fire began. Their son apparently heard popping coming from the garage and ran inside once the home filled with smoke. By the time fire crews arrived, flames were raging from the garage and spreading to the first and second floors.
Off-duty San Diego Fire Captain Bill Waugman lives just a few homes away and saw the smoke and flames. "24/7 -- it’s what we do," he said about why he sprung into action. “I stuck my head out the door, and saw the flames and that’s what we do. We run to chaos."
Waugman began directing traffic, getting residents out of the way.
“I made sure that there’s no traffic coming down the street (so) it was unobstructed for the incoming units," Waugman explained. “I made sure the residents were out of the house and when the first two companies got here I kind of gave them my size-up, and everything I’d seen and what I knew."
By the time the fire was extinguished, the two-story home was completely gutted and the home located on the right side of the house suffered minor damages, a Battalion Chief said.
No firefighters were injured in the blaze. A pet turtle that belonged to the family for over two decades survived.
San Diego Metro Arson Investigators say the cause of the blaze is undetermined.
“It could’ve been the car, it could’ve been the water heater, it could’ve been some remote control batteries that were in there. There’s a lot of electrical items, not only in this garage but most garages. There’s a lot of combustibles," said SDFD Battalion Chief Dave Seneviratne. "There’s gasoline, there’s a washer-dryer, so there’s a lot of factors that could’ve led to the cause of this fire."