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On July 17 at about 11:30 p.m., the Santee sheriff’s station received a call of a house fire on Cajon Vista Court in the Winter Gardens neighborhood of El Cajon.

The first deputy to arrive on the scene was met by a woman who said her boyfriend was in the attic of the burning residence, according to Sgt. Mike Forbes.

Additional deputies responded to the call and made their way into the smoke-filled attic to search for the man. Deputies found the 22-year old victim, Michael Gabbett, unconscious and unresponsive.

Carrying Gabbett, the deputies retreated from the attic through a door that led to an upstairs bedroom, then continued downstairs and out of the residence. Medics treated Gabbett at the scene and then transported him to UCSD Hospital. His condition is unknown.

Medics treated three deputies for smoke inhalation. The fire, quickly extinguished by firefighters, left minor damage to the structure and is still under investigation.

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Ken Harrison July 20, 2013 @ 10:58 a.m.

Hay Julie, Any word on why he was in the attic? TV news speculated he may be smoking? Also if I remember the house on TV, it was a typical tract home which doesn't have a formal attic, just a large crawl space under the roof that many homeowners make accessible for storage. Any thoughts on your end.


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