Teen Escapes House Fire

Father says candle may have been left burning in room

A family of six is lucky to be alive after an early morning house fire.  One member of the family, a teenager, is in the hospital after suffering third- and fourth-degree burns.

The fire happened around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Delta Street and South 39th in the Shelltown area.

When fire crews arrived the house was fully engulfed in flames.  A car in the back was also on fire. 

It took 35 firefighters about 30 minutes to put the fire out.  Firefighters said the house isn't a total loss, but there is smoke and fire damage in most of the rooms.  Investigators determined the fire was sparked by an unattended candle in a back bedroom.

The father, Juan Villanueva said  his son might have left a candle or incense burning.  Villanueva woke up and saw the smoke, ran to his son's room, but it was locked from the inside.  He started banging on the door, finally breaking it down. 

The 16-year-old was rushed to UCSD Medical Center for treatment of his burns. His three siblings and parents made it out of the house without injury.

The Red Cross is assisting the family.

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