A woman and her dog escaped an intense fire Friday that started in the laundry room of a Chula Vista home and raced up the inside of the walls and through the roof, firefighters said.
"It spread pretty rapidly," Chula Vista Fire Chief Dave Hanneman said.
Firefighters arrived to the home on Santa Barbara Court just after 12:30 p.m. and found smoke pouring through the roof of the home. They used thermal imaging and saw the flames shooting upwards inside the walls into the attic.
"They got up onto the roof and cut a hole in the roof to try to stop it," Hanneman said.
That's when the flames punched though the hole, sending a giant plume of smoke into the air.
A woman and her miniture poodle were both inside the home but got out safely.
"I saw the owner's wife sitting on the sidewalk, I came over to comfort her," the homeowner's neighbor Jennifer Nely said . "I was scared about my house next door too".
Firefighters gained control of the fire around 1:30 p.m. They managed to salvage some items from downstairs.
"It's Christmas time, they have three beautiful kids," said Nealy. "It's just a tragedy".