Grandfather, granddaughter with autism die in raging La Jolla house fire


SAN DIEGO โ€“ A man and his 8-year-old granddaughter were killed early Monday when fire tore through a home in La Jolla, neighbors and family friends told FOX 5.

The fire was reported around 3:45 a.m. at a two-story house on Caminito La Paz, a dead-end street off Hidden Valley Road south of La Jolla Parkway, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Crews arrived to find the home fully engulfed in flames and a second- alarm response was requested shortly after 4 a.m. Nearby homes were evacuated as crews battled the blaze.

โ€œWe had fire coming out of every window and every door. When they put a ladder to the second floor to try to make entry, because they had reports immediately that there were people trapped that the flames prohibited them stop them from getting any further than the balcony,โ€ said Battalion Chief Eric Windsor.  

โ€œThere were explosions and glass breaking, and I looked out the window and I was saying, ‘What is going on?’โ€ said neighbor Maggie Nissan.

Firefighters knocked down the flames around 5:05 a.m., but crews remained on scene through the morning for overhaul, SDFRD spokesman Alec Phillipp said.

Two other residents were taken earlier to UCSD Hillcrest hospital for treatment of minor injuries, Phillipp said.Hours later, firefighters searched the damaged home and discovered two bodies inside, Phillipp said.

Windsor said fire crews were especially saddened to learn that one of the victims was a young girl, the man’s grandaughter, who was diagnosed with autism.

โ€œThe majority of the guys here have children, so when you come to an incident and there are children involved in any way, it hits close to home,โ€ he said. 

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