A family in Valley Center tried to fight a fire in their living room Friday night, but a frozen hose stopped their efforts and forced them out of their home.
Shawn White lives in the home on 3rd Street with his mother and stepfather.
"I got woken up at 11:30 to my mom opening my door saying, 'Shawn the house is on fire,'" he said. Shawn relived the nightmare turned reality as he walked through his charred living room Saturday morning.
Black ash now covers everything. A difficult reminder of the red glow Shawn saw Friday night.
"That's when I realized that something was really going on," he said. "So, my first instinct was to grab a cup of water. I poured it on there and nothing happened."
Shawn then reached for a garden hose to put out the flames, but on a bitter February night the water inside the hose was frozen.
"That's when everybody just kind of stepped back because there was nothing we could do," he said.
By the time Shawn and his parents tried to grab warmer clothes from the house it was too late.
"I was in my socks. It was what, probably ten degrees last night," he said. "I was standing out in the cold, no jacket, no nothing."
The family waited for warmer weather and daylight on Saturday to piece together what the fire left behind. But the lingering smoke, soot, and smell made the cleanup process very difficult.
"I can't breathe," Shawn said. "I have to take a breather every 15 to 20 minutes after just standing in there getting my stuff."
Shawn knows the midnight fire could have been much worse and he is thankful he and his family made it out alive.
"It's just hard seeing my home that I grew up in as a little kid, now it's all dirty, all messy, all has to probably be thrown away," he said.
The family feels grateful for the support they received from neighbors during and after the fire.
Fire investigators will survey the damage Sunday. Early estimates are around $50,000. The family believes the blaze started in the fireplace.