Seven adults and one baby were displaced from their home in El Cajon after a fire broke out early Friday morning.
Crews responded to the fire on the 1100 block of Naranca Ave. at about 1:40 a.m. Heavy smoke and fire was already visible when they arrived.
A resident of the house reported the fire when she returned home from work to find the house engulfed in flames. She managed to wake up the six other adults and one baby and evacuate them from the house before anyone was injured.
Firefighters say they don’t believe the smoke detectors in the house weren’t working.
Crews knocked the fire down after 30 minutes, but not before it caused significant damage to the front of the house. A firefighter at the scene said the house was crowded and “full of stuff.” That may have contributed to the fire spreading so quickly, he said.
A gas meter was also on fire, which escalated the fire, a firefighter said.
When fire crews surveyed the damage, they found one dog in the house perished. Another dog was found alive, but two others were still missing as of 7 a.m.
Neighbors also evacuated, but no one was injured.
Damage has been estimated at about $150,000.
Investigators are still determining whether the fire was arson or an accident. Authorities interviewed residents and neighbors for hours after the fire.
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