Family escapes fire at Escondido auto shop - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Family escapes fire at Escondido auto shop

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ESCONDIDO (CBS 8) - A family says they barely escaped with their lives after an explosion at an Escondido auto repair shop in the 700 block of Metcalf Street Friday night.

The owner's son, daughter-in-law, and their four-month-old baby daughter were inside when, they say, a VW Bug, for unknown reasons, burst into flames. They tried to fight the flames but eventually had to run out of the building.

"Within one minute, the whole business was already on fire," Esmeralda Bravo, the shop owner's daughter-in-law, told News 8.  "I ran out with my baby. (My husband) tried to turn it off with the fire extinguisher, but he couldn't. I was like, 'Get out of there!'"

The owner's son, Edgar Bravo, says he tried in vain to put the fire out himself.

"Some of the neighbors also took the extinguishers, but as soon as the fire  got near the oil containers, I ran out," Bravo told News 8.

Firefighters say because the flames had torn through the roof of the unit, it was determined too unsafe to try to go inside to put the fire out.

"As we arrived on scene, we had heavy fire coming out of the rear of the building and through the roof," said Battalion Chief Herb Griffin of the Escondido Fire Department.

The fire quickly went second-alarm, and fire units took about thirty minutes to get it under control.

Firefighters were concerned the flames would spread to neighboring businesses in the complex. In the end, those business suffered only minor smoke and water damage.

The family says they are unsure if they'll rebuild the damaged auto shop, which was only partially insured.

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