Fire destroys rural North County home; crews stop flames from spreading through woods

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Animal Services was called to potentially evacuate horses from the area, but moving the animals was ultimately unnecessary.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Flames ripped through a home in rural North County Friday morning and spread to nearby brush, but no one was hurt in the blaze and crews kept the fire from spreading beyond the immediate area.

The fire was reported just before 4:45 a.m. at an estimated 3,000-square-foot house on Sandia Creek Drive in the De Luz Heights area of Fallbrook.

The blaze was in the immediate area of the Sandia Creek Ranch horseback-riding school, and the Department of Animal Services was called to the area as a precaution, though ultimately the horses did not need to be moved, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said. Water is being supplied to the horses throughout the day while crews work in the area, a spokesperson added.

The flames initially threatened to spread rapidly through surrounding vegetation, but slow wind speeds at the time helped firefighters keep the flames contained to the house and about a quarter-acre of land surrounding it, Cal Fire San Diego reports.

Ultimately, the home was declared a total loss, but no injuries were reported, the sheriff’s department said. Two family dogs were initially missing but were later found and are safe.

Firefighters were expected to remain at the scene for around two hours to keep the flames from picking back up. Both directions of Sandia Creek Drive were shut down near Lynda Lane.

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