SANTEE, Calif. - Flames gutted a home in a neighborhood near Gillespie Field on Tuesday, displacing a family of four and leaving three firefighters with minor injuries.
The two-alarm blaze erupted about noon in the 8300 block of Poinciana Drive, in an unincorporated area just east of the general-aviation airport, said Richard Mattick, deputy chief of the Santee Fire Department.
Two people who were home at the time were able to escape safely along with their dogs, but they were unable to save their pet birds and fish, which perished in the smoke-filled house, according to Mattick.
It took several dozen crew members from four East County firefighting agencies about 45 minutes to fully subdue the intense flames. Three of the personnel were taken to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa for treatment of superficial burns.
The roughly 40-year-old home appeared to be a total loss, Mattick said. Investigators set the damage tally at about $300,000.
The displaced residents -- two adults and two children -- told authorities they did not need assistance from the American Red Cross in arranging for emergency lodging.
The cause of the blaze remained under investigation in the early evening.