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Videos: Calif. firefighters face hoarding conditions in house fire

Lemon Grove firefighters arrived to find the house and a detached garage burning


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By The San Diego Union-Tribune

LEMON GROVE, Calif. — A fire that erupted in a Lemon Grove garage and spread to a home early Wednesday caused an estimated $800,000 in damage and displaced 11 residents, a Heartland Fire & Rescue official said.

The fire was reported shortly after 5 a.m. on Chateau Way near Central Avenue. When firefighters arrived they found heavy smoke and flames coming from a detached garage. The fire then spread to the attic space of the home, said Heartland spokesperson Andy McKellar.

Firefighters from Heartland, San Miguel and San Diego responded, and crews had the blaze under control by 5:45 a.m., he said.

One firefighter suffered a minor shoulder injury and was transported to a hospital to be checked out.

All the residents made it out of the structure safely. A dog at the home suffered smoke inhalation and was given oxygen at the scene.

“Firefighters found hoarder-type condition within the home which required extensive overhaul” as crews checked to make sure no fire remained, McKellar said in an email. He said there were many items found inside the home.

The exact cause of the fire is unknown, and the fire will be investigated by the sheriff’s bomb-arson unit, officials said.

The Red Cross was called in to help the displaced residents.

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