A family of four was home when a fire sparked in their Chula Vista house Monday morning, temporarily trapping them upstairs before they could escape.
The Chula Vista Fire Department was called just after 7:20 a.m. to the home on Caliente Loop, near Southwestern College and Chula Vista Hills Elementary School.
The initial call stated the family was trapped upstairs but the family was able to get out of the house before firefighters arrived, CVPD Battalion Chief Rob Nelson said.
Alexander Godat said he, his sister, mother and father, who is a Navy veteran, were in the house when the fire sparked in their home of about 20 years.
"This has been our house for longer than, like 18 to 20 years. I'm 25 now and this is kind of heartbreaking to see my childhood home just light up in flames," Godat said.
He first heard his parents yell for the family to get out of the home.
They grabbed the family dog and tried to escape through a patio on the second story but initially had trouble navigating through a netting surrounding the balcony.
Gardeners working in the area were able to help them jump from the second story to escape unharmed, though three of them were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, Nelson said.
No one was taken to the hospital.
The CVFD said heavy smoke could be seen from a distance and when they arrived, the entire second story was on fire. The fire burned a gaping hole in the home's upper level.
By about 7:45 a.m., flames had been tempered and crews were mopping up the remnants of the fire.
CVPD said there were hoarder-like conditions inside the home, though no cause has yet been determined. Investigators were called less than an hour after the majority of the fire was put out.
Godat said two of their family cats were missing and were hopeful that at least one took off when the fire erupted.
It was not clear how much damage the fire caused.
No other information was available.
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