The pump of a fish tank inside a La Mesa office building overheated Thursday morning, sparking a fire inside one of the building’s suites, officials confirmed.
The fire was reported just before 7:40 a.m. at 8911 La Mesa Blvd., just north of Grossmont Boulevard.
The building houses several Farmers Insurance offices.
According to Sonny Saghera, a public information officer with the Heartland Fire & Rescue Department, the caller reporting the fire said flames were stemming from the building.
La Mesa Fire Station 11 is located less than a mile-and-a-half from the office building, so Saghera said firefighters arrived quickly. Light smoke was billowing.
Saghera said it took a little while for crews to figure out where, exactly, the fire had started. Firefighters forced their way inside the building, searching for its origin.
They made their way to the corner of a small office suite.
“It turned out to be the pump of a fish tank, that had heated up, caught fire and caused smoke and a little bit of damage to the building as well,” Saghera said.
The fire was contained to only the suite where it started.
Saghera said firefighters had to cut holes into some of the walls around the building just to make sure the fire hadn’t snuck into any other locations. The rest of the building sustained some smoke damage.
Saghera said the office suite where pump caught on fire would be closed for a bit as firefighters continued their work there through the morning. He expected all other suites would be open for business as usual.
The fish tank was removed from the office and was placed outside on the grass. The tank and its pump system was heavily damaged, its glass shattered and parts broken.