SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Sixteen people and at least one dog fled from a burning home Wednesday morning in the Oak Park neighborhood just minutes before the house became fully engulfed in flames, authorities said.
Several families, including at least eight children, were asleep in the home when the fire broke out a little after 4 a.m., firefighters from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said.
Eight engines were dispatched to battle the blaze, which was reported at 4:13 a.m. on 53rd Street near Shelby Street, according to a SDFRD incident log. The flames were knocked down about 20 minutes later.
Arson investigators said the fire likely started due to a loose wire in the home.
News footage from the scene showed a large group of people outside the home watching fire crews battle the flames, including several adolescent boys without shirts and shoes and wearing only athletic shorts.
Firefighters said that at one point as they battled the blaze, flames were coming out of the windows in every room in the home.
Fire crews on scene called for Red Cross to aid the displaced families and animal control to help care for at least one dog and several chickens. No injuries were reported to humans, though firefighters reported administering medical aid to the dog, who could be seen in news footage breathing with help of an oxygen mask at one point.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help support the family.