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El Cajon fire kills man's grandparents, brother after he tried to save them

El Cajon fire kills man's grandparents, brother after he tried to save them
Posted at 6:49 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-25 21:49:51-04

He says it still feels like a nightmare. Robert Trumper was sleeping in a trailer parked outside when his family home on Anza Street caught fire last week.

“That’s the house that I grew up in that’s my grandparents house right there.”

Inside the home was his younger brother, 26-year-old Ian Trumper, and his grandparents, Herman and Marilyn Trumper, both of them in their mid-eighties.

“Grandpa, I heard him yelling I can’t breathe I can’t breathe. I went to yell ‘I got you I'm going to come save you.’ but I was unable to.”

Robert says he ran through three separate entrances to try and get them out, but couldn't survive the smoke.

“When I opened the window, the sliding door window, I tried to get through and it knocked me unconscious, instantly out.”

He says once fire crews arrived, they told him to stand back.

“I explained to them - I don’t care. My family’s in there burning right now."

Crews rushed his brother and grandpa to the hospital, where they eventually died from their injuries. His grandma never made it out of the house. Robert says his grandparents were his closest family. They adopted him at age six and raised him after his parents neglected him as a baby.

“They saved my life, and I feel like. I feel like a failure because I was supposed to save their lives.”

He says he doesn't know what caused the fire. The Sheriff’s bomb and arson unit are still investigating.

Robert no longer has a home. His friends set up a GoFundMe to support him, click here if you'd like to donate.