PB House Fire Considered Arson - NBC 7 San Diego

PB House Fire Considered Arson

Family was asleep inside, one woman caught on fire

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    Three people managed to escape the flames inside the second story of this Pacific Beach home.

    Investigators are investigating a house fire in Pacific Beach as arson.  Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday at the 2100 block of  Harbour Heights Rd.  They arrived to see much of the second floor of the house on fire. 

    Neighbors were startled by the blaze.  “I went into the kitchen for a glass of water and I saw this bright light.  I opened the sliding door and the flames were just huge,” said Maryann Smith who lives behind the house.  She feared that the flames could’ve spread.  “We were wetting down the bank and wetting down the roof of our house because we could see the embers coming into the trees and coming down” she said.

    With 30 firefighters on scene, witnesses say the fire was put out quickly.  “Crews made an aggressive attack on the fire and fortunately they were able to hold it to the dwelling of origin,” said Deputy Chief Perry Peake of San Diego Fire and Rescue.  He said three people were in the home when the fire started.

    One man claiming to be a resident said the fire woke him up.  He also said his mother was on fire when he ran out of the house but was doing ok at the hospital.  He said his dog died in the fire.

    Investigations into the cause of the fire were hampered by fears that the structure would collapse.  But by daybreak investigators arrived and began sifting through the debris.  A K-9 unit was used in the investigation.  It was seen sniffing a gasoline can sitting in the driveway.  By midday, fire officials confirmed that the cause of the fire was arson.  Investigators estimate damages to be $875,000.