Man Dies in Spring Valley House Fire

Firefighters respond to a house fire at Vista Drive and Helix Street

By Andie Adams and Nicole Gonzales
|  Friday, Dec 2, 2011  |  Updated 8:45 AM PDT
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Cell phone video shows the intensity of a fatal fire on Vista Drive and Helix Street in Spring Valley Thursday night. Three people live on the property but only two made it out alive. Nicole Gonzales reports.

Cell phone video shows the intensity of a fatal fire on Vista Drive and Helix Street in Spring Valley Thursday night. Three people live on the property but only two made it out alive. Nicole Gonzales reports.

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Neighbors jumped in to help battle a deadly fire in Spring Valley Thursday night.

One man died when flames broke out around 6:30 p.m. at a one-story, single family home near the intersection of Vista Drive and Helix Street.

“We grabbed some hoses and started spraying what we could. It got pretty intense," said Devon Farlow. "Right when we ran up the windows blew out and flames came out.”

The fire started in the back, inside a detached garage, where one of the residents was staying.

The homeowner and his wife live in the front house. They escaped unharmed.

Neighbor Dana Edgil described the fire when it started.

“Like ammunition going off or firecrackers. Real quick. Like pop pop pop pop,” Edgil said..

Farlow says the homeowner who made it out in time was calling desperately for his family.

“He was yelling for his brother. Saying 'Help! Help! Help!" Farlow said.

When the San Miguel Fire Protection District and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department arrived on the scene, the house was fully involved in flames.

One of the residents lived in the home's garage which the family called "the barn." He liked working on cars and welding. The equipment and materials added fuel to the fire investigators said.

San Diego County Arson Investigators roped off the house early on and called it a crime scene, as a precaution.

“It’s better to protect an area if there’s any concern whatsoever especially if there’s a possibility or worry that there could be a loss of life,” Leonard Villarreal of the San Miguel Fire District said.

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