Midday blaze ravages Victorian home in Golden Hill

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A fire tore through a Victorian-style home in the Golden Hill neighborhood Wednesday, causing an estimated $500,000 worth of damage and displacing seven residents.

The non-injury blaze of unknown origin erupted just before noon on the second floor of the two-story subdivided house in the 900 block of 22nd Street, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The two people home at the time were able to escape on their own, and firefighters rescued a large dog being kept in a pet carrier in one of the two upstairs living areas, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said. The personnel also were able to save some holiday gifts from damage by covering them with tarps, he said.

Crews at first thought they'd extinguished the flames within about six minutes, but then found that the blaze was still spreading inside the walls of the old residence. It took them about 45 minutes to fully douse the fire, which required them to tear apart walls and cut a hole in the steeply slanted roof to ventilate heat and smoke.

The monetary losses were set at $300,000 to the structure and $200,000 to contents. Investigators were unable to immediately pin down the cause of the fire, though it appeared to have been accidental in nature, Luque said.

The American Red Cross was called in to help the members of the three separate households in the residence arrange for interim lodging.

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