2 firefighters hurt when part of burning hillside home collapses

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EL CAJON, Calif. — Two firefighters were hurt battling a towering house fire in the hills of East County early Tuesday.

The fire broke out just after 3 a.m. at a home near the top of Helix View Drive, on the hillside just east of Interstate 8, Heartland Fire Department confirmed. The blaze started in a detached garage but spread to the main house and caught part of the yard on fire, too.

As firefighters doused the flames, two of them were hit by a portion of the home that collapsed, officials said. Both were taken to the hospital, with one released later Tuesday morning and the other still receiving treatment as of about 8 a.m. More details about the firefighters’ injuries were not immediately shared.

Two adults who live at the home and a dog were able to escape the fire unhurt and were finding their own arrangements for a place to stay, as the flames gutted a significant portion of the property, firefighters said. Three cars were also destroyed.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation, but authorities said it did not appear suspicious.

Firefighters remained outside the home taking care of hot spots throughout the morning.

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