A Chula Vista family, including a mother who leads a Girl Scouts troop, escaped injury when a fire swept through their home – but a huge haul of Girl Scout Cookies was not so lucky.
Two adults and three daughters – ages 12, 11 and 5 – were safe following the fire on 27 East L St., just east of Hilltop Drive. The homeowner, Ernest Perkins, woke up before 5 a.m. when he heard the smoke alarm.
He said he saw smoke coming out of the garage and quickly called 911. He then got his family safely out of the home. Their pets, two cats and a dog, also made it out safely.
Chula Vista Fire Department (CVFD) officials said most of the fire ripped through the garage; some flames spread to the attic and part of the house.
A friend of the family, Carmela Perez, told NBC 7 the mother of the family is a leader of the Girl Scouts. The mother had Girl Scout Cookies stored in the garage, waiting to be sold, as the organization’s cookie seasons just began.
All of the cookies burned in the fire, Perez said.
The mother was concerned her daughters would be responsible for the cookies, and also upset because she knows it is how the troop raises money for the year.
Perez said the Girl Scouts sent representatives to the family’s home Tuesday to check in on the family and make sure they were okay.
“[They’re] the best people if you needed anything,” Perez said.
NBC 7 reached out to Girl Scouts San Diego. The organization released a statement saying they were saddened to hear one of their dedicated Girl Scout families had been impacted by this fire and thankful no one was hurt.
"Our staff reached out to them this morning to express our concerns and offer assistance. We assured them that we are here to support them in any way possible. We will replace the cookies, and the family will not be held responsible for the loss," Girl Scouts San Diego said.
Neighbors were also checking in on the family throughout the day; the Red Cross is helping them as well.
The CVFD said one firefighter was evaluated at the scene of the blaze for overexertion. No one was hurt.
Fire investigators said a cable wire was knocked down at the house, though they are not sure if that’s connected to the cause of the fire. The investigation is ongoing.