Arson investigators were called out to a Pacific Beach apartment complex where a fire broke out just before 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Fire crews had the blaze knocked down within 20 minutes. However residents in the small complex at the intersection of Grand and Fanuel had to be evacuated.
Residents nearby described the fire as “huge.” The smell of smoke was still prevalent later in the morning.
Fire officials say the closest fire hydrant was not working. Later, Maurice Luque of the San Diego Fire Rescue said the fire hydrants in Pacific Beach were not working as a result of construction nearby, but the shut-off was not a factor in the morning's fire.
He added that the fire department was aware of the shut-off, so trucks brought 500 gallons of water with them.
Neighbors said fire crews were slow to arrive, so they used garden hoses to extinguish the fire.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
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