EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) – A family of eight and their pets were forced to flee into the cold Monday night after a fire erupted in the garage of their El Cajon home.
Fire officials said the incident was reported at around 11:15 p.m. in the 1500 block of Condor Avenue.
10News learned a child smelled something burning and then spotted the flames in the garage. He alerted his siblings and parents, and the entire family ran out of the home.
Some of the young children ran into the cold without much clothing on, so the mother went back inside the smoke-filled home to rescue their two dogs and grab blankets for the children.
After firefighters and paramedics arrived, the mother was treated for smoke inhalation.
Crews were able to douse the flames before it completely destroyed the home.
Fire officials said it’s possible the blaze was started in a water heater, but the incident remains under investigation.
The displaced family was able to stay with friends, Heartland Fire & Rescue officials said.