VENTURA, Calif. - Four people were taken to the hospital late Sunday night after a house burst into flames.
Investigators believe the fire is suspicious and could be arson.
The blaze broke out about 11 p.m. Sunday in the 900 block of Burlington Avenue in Ventura.
Monday morning fire investigators spent several hours investigating the damage. By Monday afternoon the fire was considered suspicious and transferred to the Ventura Police Department.
Friends and family of Kurt and Nellie Baker were shocked to hear investigators believe this fire may be arson.
Six people were sleeping inside the home when the fire broke out. A nearby neighbor saw the flames. He quickly called 911 and then helped the residents get out of the home.
Kurt Baker, the elderly homeowner who lived in the bedroom above the garage, went into cardiac arrest while trying to escape the flames. It took the quick action of a firefighter to bring him to safety.
"The first arriving crews found one of the occupants in cardiac arrest. They made a quick extrication rescue, got the man out and started CPR immediately," said Ventura City Fire Assistant Chief Matt Brock.
In total the fire sent four people to the hospital, including a firefighter.
Three were suffering from complications from smoke inhalation and the fourth was Baker, who was listed in critical condition Monday night.
"I don't know if he was going to make it and we still don't know what the condition is and then to see the house like this and under these conditions and for the reason that it was done, it just breaks my heart," said Cameron Antillon, Baker's relative.
Brock said the damage to the home is extensive and that the house can not be occupied until it has been cleaned up and repairs have been made. Brock said the Red Cross has stepped in to help.
Investigators estimate the structural damage at $150,000. On top of the structural damage investigators estimate the homeowners lost about $75,000 of their personal belongings, including a boat and a car sitting in the driveway.
Family members of the Bakers said they did not have home insurance because they had financially exhausted all their money helping their son battling cancer. He lost his life just a few weeks ago.
Baker's relatives hope to set up a relief fund to help the Baker family rebuild their home in the upcoming weeks.
Investigators ask anyone with information about the fire to give the Ventura Police Department a call.26734218