BROTHERS SAVE LITTLE SISTER, 4
Updated July 18, 2010
July 17, 2010 (Spring Valley) -- 100 degree heat in Spring Valley today did not slow the attack of San Miguel firefighters on a house fire in the 8600 block of Sandy Bev Lane. A mother and seven of her eight children were home when the blaze was reported. The mother told investigators she was in the kitchen preparing a meal when she heard the smoke alarm sound. She went down a hallway to investigate and found one of the children’s bedrooms on fire.
Seven family members evacuated safely, but once outside realized that a four-year-old child was missing. The girls brothers, 14 and 18, ran back inside and found her hiding in her bedroom closet and rescued her.
Investigators have determined that the four-year-old member started the fire. It's believed she lit a piece of paper from the kitchen stove and carried it back to her bedroom and set the flaming paper on the bed. Once the flame grew she ran to her closet and hid.
The blaze was fully involved when fire crews arrived. The fire quickly went to a second alarm, triggering an automatic mutual aid response. Crews from Lemon Grove, La Mesa, El Cajon, Santee and CAL FIRE brought the total attack force to 24 people.
The fire was raging so hot when firefighters arrived that the home could not be saved, said San Miguel spokesman Leonard Villareal. however crews quickly went into a defensive mode to protect other nearby homes. The fire was extinguished in 21 minutes. No other damage and no injuries were reported.
The American Red Cross will assist the family of nine. The structure is considered a total loss, with early damage estimate of structure and contents is estimated at about $300,000