Residents flee fire that guts East County home

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A fire destroyed an El Cajon residence Monday night.

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EL CAJON, Calif. — A fire destroyed an El Cajon residence and left four people homeless, but no one was injured, fire officials said Tuesday.

Someone called for help after flames began spewing from the roof area, possibly from the chimney, of the single-family home in the 1300 block of El Rey Court around 8:45 p.m. Monday, according to Heartland Fire & Rescue spokesman Sonny Saghera.

Neighbors alerted the two residents at home at the time to the fire and they managed to get out safely before firefighters arrived about five minutes later.

Saghera said fire crews initially tried to extinguish the blaze from inside the burning home, but were later pulled out because the roof and ceiling had been structurally compromised. They then focused on fighting the fire from outside the single-story home, kept it from spreading to neighboring houses and contained it in about an hour.

The house was deemed a total loss, and fire officials estimated the blaze caused about $400,000 in damage to the structure and its contents, Saghera said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known, according to the spokesman.

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