Chula Vista Fire: Cameras capture drama as two homes burn - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Chula Vista Fire: Cameras capture drama as two homes burn

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CHULA VISTA (NEWS 8) - A predawn blaze scorched two neighboring homes Friday morning in Chula Vista, but occupants in both houses escaped without injuries.

The fire erupted a little after 3 a.m., burning the homes on Helix Avenue between Interstate 805 and Hilltop Drive.

Just after the fire ripped through his home, Florentino Del Real surveyed the damage – reflecting on the post-Thanksgiving ordeal.

When the fire broke out, Florentino was inside sleeping with his wife, two children, ages 12 and 17, and their dogs – Sparky and Rex.

Surveillance video captured the moment the fire first began to the moment the family escaped.

Florentino’s daughter, Cynthia, said her friends were driving by after Black Friday shopping when they noticed the fire.

Video captured the moment her friends stopped and alerted the family by calling Cynthia and knocking on the door.

While only one room of their neighbors’ home was damaged, the Del Real’s home was destroyed.

Cynthia managed to escape with her parents and brother. The dogs made it out safely too as their home went up in flames.

Despite the fire destroying everything, firefighters were able save a few of the family’s pictures.

Chula Vista fire officials continue to investigate but what is known is that the fire began in the alley between the Del Real’s home and the one next door, and that smoke billowed for hours before erupting into flames.

The Del Reals believe it had something to do with a Thanksgiving party their neighbors had, but they said they have no hard feelings. In fact, they feel the exact opposite.

“I am feeling relieved that we are alive that nothing bad happened,” he said.

The home was a rental but the family did not have renters insurance. They have set up a GoFundMe page for anyone who wishes to help.

Investigators said the home did have some detectors, but fire officials said the fire is a good reminder for all families to install them – especially during the holiday season.

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