SAN DIEGO — Firefighters found two children dead inside a burning home in Chula Vista early Thursday and their father was badly hurt in the blaze, officials said.
The Chula Vista Fire Department was called to Coralwood Court off Sandalwood Drive just before 12:30 a.m. Firefighters got there within five minutes and found flames engulfing a two-story home with two children still inside, according to the department.
“It’s a coordinated attack, so we have the engine company that got in first, they go right in and they’re knocking down fires, the rescue team is right there searching,” CVFD Battalion Chief Ray Smith explained at the scene.
Firefighters found the children’s bodies as they worked to put out the fire. Officials with La Mesa-Spring Valley School District later said one of the kids was a kindergarten student at Avondale Elementary School in Spring Valley.
“We are all deeply saddened by this heartbreaking news,” the district said in a statement. “This is a truly devastating time and a terrible loss for our Avondale school community.
“Counselors will be available at the school throughout the rest of this week. If your children need any assistance dealing with this loss, please encourage them to speak with a counselor or a trusted adult.”
Two adults, a man and woman, made it out on their own, according to Fire Captain Linda D’Orsi.
“This is always tragic,” Batt. Chief Smith said at the scene. “Most of these firefighters are married with families and kids so as you can imagine, it’s very difficult.”
The man, believed to be the kids’ father, was taken to UCSD’s burn center with severe injuries, D’Orsi told City News Service. An adult female was uninjured, according to CVFD.
Investigators are working to learn the cause of the flames.
In the meantime, a GoFundMe is raising money for potential treatments and counseling for the family.
The woman who organized the page said she was a sister of the woman whose family was affected by the fire, and that the man who was burned had worked at Avondale Elementary. She also said that a third child was not home at the time of the blaze and was unharmed.
“This unbelievable tragic event has affected some of the kindest, caring, and hard-working people I know, and the loss of their children is something that no one should have to bear alone,” the woman wrote. “I will post more details as they come.”