house fire

Children Escape House Fire Near Oak Park; 1 Firefighter Injured

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Three children, an adult and a firefighter were injured as a fire burned through a home near Oak Park Wednesday night, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue and the Heartland Fire Department.

The fire was reported at a two-story roup home on Romo Street at around 5:30 p.m., according to SDFD.

At least three children escaped the fire but suffered smoke inhalation, SDFD said. They were taken to the hospital, along with an adult woman who broke her leg jumping from a second-story window.

Neighbors came to her aid after she jumped to safety.

"She was crying, mostly she was really worried about her kids. She had two young children that breathed in a lot of smoke," neighbor Joel Ruth said.

A firefighter also suffered a minor burn injury, according to SDFD. The firefighter was also taken to the hospital for treatment and released the same night, a spokesperson confirmed.

The home is a sober living residence for women and children. In all, about $450,000 worth of damage was done to its structure and contents.

A child who lives there said the fire started with a mattress in a downstairs bedroom.

She and her mother tried to put it out but couldn't get the fire extinguisher to work.

"It was just crazy. They went up so quick I was just happy that we got everybody out as best we could," Tricia Van Billiard said.

Firefighters said the fire spread quickly to the second floor.

The organization that operates the home was able to relocate the residents to another facility.

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause.

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