A mom and seven of her eight children were in their Spring Valley home when it caught fire and quickly became engulfed in flames.
“She tells us she was in the kitchen preparing a meal when she heard the smoke detector go off,” said San Miguel Fire District spokesperson Leonard Villarreal.
She went down the hall of the home on Sandy Bev Lane to investigate.
“One of the children’s bedrooms were on fire,” Villarreal said. “As you would imagine, having all of your children, or all but one of your children home at the time, is a terrifying ordeal.”
She evacuated herself and six of her children. Once outside, the family couldn’t find the seventh child -- a 4-year-old girl.
“A 14-year-old and 18-year-old, her brothers, ran back inside and pulled her from the closet, saving her life,” Villarreal said.
Investigators say the 4-year-old girl started the fire.
“It’s believed she lit a piece of paper from the kitchen stove and carried it back to her bedroom and set the flaming paper on the bed. Once the flame grew she ran to her closet and hid,” Villarreal said.
The house is considered a total loss. The damage is estimated at $300,000.