SANTEE, Calif. — A family of five narrowly escaped flames that ripped through their East County home Tuesday morning.
The fire broke out some time before 9 a.m. at the house on Woodrose Avenue, just north of El Nopal in Santee, according to Heartland Fire Department. SkyFOX showed flames leaping from the roof and garage of the single-story home. At least four fire trucks ran hose lines to crews, who doused the fire in time to at least partially spare the back half of the house.
When the flames broke out, neighbors called 911 and ran across the street to make sure the family escaped in time. No one was hurt, but the family had no time to gather their things and was left without a clear timeline on when they might be able to return home.
“Your heart just sinks. I can’t even imagine just losing everything,” Sam Murao, who called 911, told FOX 5. “My neighbor didn’t even know where his wallet was. They had to get out of the house that fast. There were flames shooting past their door. And my roommate was just telling them, ‘Get out! Get out! Get out!'”
By 9:40 a.m., the flames had been stopped from spreading, though crews continued spraying down hot spots and sorting through the damage. There was no immediate word on the cause of the blaze, but it appeared it started in the garage, which was completely gutted.
Firefighters said two cars parked in the driveway and a motorcycle were destroyed but did not immediately provide an estimate of the total damage done.
Police shut down the block of Woodrose Avenue where firefighters were working for several hours.
The family shared a GoFundMe account to help recover the cost of damage.