A Mount Helix family who just returned to their home after five years to get the property ready for an upcoming open house was awakened by flames early Tuesday.
An attic fire damaged the right side of the 4200-square foot home on Ogram Drive in unincorporated La Mesa.
One neighbor saw the flames shooting up from the roof of the home and another neighbor called 911.
When deputies first arrived, they reported seeing huge flames rising into the air from the home and called for emergency crews.
Firefighters arrived and soon realized this was going to be a challenge.
“What made it cumbersome was the large attic space we had and the void space we had. It takes a lot of manpower and equipment to find the fire first before we can extinguish it,” said Battalion Chief Mike Stein with San Miguel Fire Department.
The homeowners, a husband and wife, managed to escape the flames but did suffer a small bit of smoke inhalation.
The San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross got them set up at a nearby location.
The homeowners said the home’s fire alarms were not functioning and they were in the process of fixing them in preparation of selling the property.