Shed Offered to Homeless Woman Catches Fire in Carlsbad, Owner Says

A Carlsbad homeowner said a woman sleeping in a shed on his property sparked a fire that threatened nearby homes.

Richard Margolin said he was just trying to help the woman when he gave her permission to sleep inside a shed in his yard on Madison Street.

He said the woman had no other place to stay.

“It was just for one night,” Margolin said. “She said wake me up at six in the morning. I brought her a sleeping bag and that's the last I saw of her."

Then, just after midnight, Margolin was awakened by flames in his backyard.

After he called 911, Carlsbad firefighters and police officers arrived and found the shed engulfed in flames and threatening Margolin’s neighbors’ homes.

Neighbor Christopher Swaton was sitting on his couch when his dog reacted to something outside.

“We got out, open the door and there’s just a blazing inferno out the back,” Swaton said. He grabbed a hose but said the fire department was quick to respond. 

No one was injured in the fire. Damage was contained to the shed and a fence.

Fire officials say they are investigating the cause of the fire.

"There’s no electrical to the shed itself so that’s one way to determine it wasn’t electrical but at this point it’s going to be a little difficult because of the significant damage," Carlsbad Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Chumbley said.

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