East San Diego County house fire destroys home, missing pets

The homeowner was playing golf when the fire broke out. He spotted the smoke and jokingly told his friends that his house was on fire, without knowing that it actually was.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — A Spring Valley homeowner spotted smoke in the sky while playing golf Thursday evening, with no idea the smoke was coming from a fire in his home.

“He joked with his friends that his house was on fire, and it eventually came to fruition,” San Miguel Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Roddey Blunt said.

The fire broke out around 6:30 p.m. near Date St. and La Mesa Avenue on Dictionary Hill in Spring Valley.

Smoke rose into the air. Flames spread through the windows of the two-story home.

Battalion Chief Blunt said the fire spread quickly.

“Obviously on a hillside it's a very difficult fire. All the windows in the house were blown out, the back of the house faces west so the predominant wind coming in here pushed the fire throughout the house,” he said.

The homeowner's three dogs and two cats were inside the home and have not yet been located.

The crews spent all night at the house and were still there Friday afternoon.

Battalion Chief Blunt declared the house a total loss. He estimates the damage at around $2 million.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Bomb and Arson Squad is investigating. So far, no cause has been determined.

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