3 left homeless after fire destroys van

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A van that three transients were living in caught fire Sunday in Chula Vista.

It was parked near Bay Blvd. and Stella Street and caught fire around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, the occupants told FOX 5. They said the fire started in the engine and within minutes the van was engulfed.

"We tried to throw sand and water on it but it was already too late. It was out of control," one occupant told FOX 5.

One of the occupants said she recently became homeless and finally saved up enough money to buy the van just three weeks ago. She said the two other occupants were friends that were staying with her to fix up the van and help her get back on her feet.

The occupants said no one was hurt but nearly everything inside the van was destroyed, including their IDs and food stamps.

They said law enforcement gave them information about nearby shelters and they contacted the Red Cross to assist.

“We’re trying to explore the resources that the local law enforcement provided for us. Just trying to wing it," one occupant told FOX 5.

"Just pray for us," another said.

The fire singed the surrounding grass but fire crews were able to keep the flames from spreading. No one was hurt in the fire, but it did bring down an electrical line that was lying in the street Sunday morning, the occupants said.

Some neighbors told FOX 5 they did not notice a loss in power.

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