Update: 4:25 p.m. Friday
In an email to La Mesa-Mount Helix Patch, the home's owner Kris Golojuch detailed what he saw:
I came home with Kristiana around 3:20 a.m. after seeing "Dark Knight Rises." I threw some laundry in the washer and dryer and went to bed. Around 4 a.m. I heard something pop at my bedroom window. I thought it was somebody knocking. Looked out [the] window and saw [an] orange glow in garage. Jumped up, told everyone to get out and tried to fight the flames myself with garden hose until police dragged me away.
Kristiana called me "Batman" for trying to save everything. Lost all Halloween/Xmas decor, tools, supplies and part of [the] kitchen. Garage complete loss. 2 of 4 cats did not survive. Family made it out ok (Maria and Kristiana Golojuch, Steve and Abby Meyer.
Golojuch also said that he fears the ability to be able to operate the haunted house may have ended, with the fire.
"I'm hoping someone will jump in and help hold or host a fundraiser dinner or something to be able to rebuild what has been 21 years of holiday spirit," he said.
A La Mesa home that for the past 21 Halloweens has delighted the community by operating as a , suffered a garage fire early Friday morning.
At around 4 a.m. crews from Heartland Fire & Rescue from La Mesa assisted, by units from San Diego Fire were dispatched to reports of a residential structure fire in the 5500 hundred block of Dugan Ave - home of the Golojuch Family.
Fire crews arrived in six minutes to discover heavy, black smoke coming from the attached garage of a single-story, single-family residence.
Prior to fire department arrival, La Mesa Police confirmed that all occupants were out of the house. Fire crews were then able to concentrate their efforts on confining and extinguishing the fire in the garage.
Fire crews stretched hose lines to the interior of the house and aggressively fought the fire, confining the fire to the garage and preventing it from spreading to the main body of the house.
Firefighters also rescued two cats from inside the residence and reunited them with their owners.
Fire investigators determined the fire was caused by excessive lint from a dryer in the garage. Damage to "Golojuch Manor," as it is known, and contents is estimated at approximately $100,000.
The American Red Cross is assisting the Golojuch family – three adults and two children – who were displaced by the fire.
In March of this year, the family was , after paying $17,000 in mounting medical bills for one of the children led to Kris Golojuch falling behind on mortgage payments.