ELK GROVE (CBS13) – An Elk Grove family is safe after their home caught fire this morning and their escape route was cut off.

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The fire broke out in the garage of the home on Hydrangea Court at around 3:15 a.m. Investigators say it started when linseed oil-soaked paper towels in a garbage can spontaneously ignited.

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Smoke filled the home and set off smoke alarms, waking up all five family members. Their escape through the front door was hampered by flames from the garage. They, along with a couple of cats and a dog, were able to find a different way out.

“We couldn’t get out through the front of the house because of the window. Flames were shooting out across the front lawn, so we couldn’t get out the front door,” said Doug Rascher, who lives in the home.

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Firefighters were able to spare the home, but the garage was destroyed. Two cars were also destroyed in the fire. Five of the family’s cats are still missing.