Dumpster Fire Sparks in City Heights

Residents voluntarily evacuated their homes early Saturday morning after a fire sparked inside a dumpster in City Heights, officials said.

The blaze broke out around 1 a.m. in the 5200 block of Wightman Street, causing about $1,000 in damage, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said.

As the fire in the dumpster gave rise to heavy smoke, concerned residents evacuated their homes while crews worked to extinguish the fire. It was knocked out a short time later.

Fire officials said the blaze caused no damage to a nearby apartment complex. As of Saturday morning, officials said they do not believe it was arson, but the cause of the fire is under investigation.

City Heights – including Wightman Street itself – appeared to be the target of arsonist deliberately setting fires throughout the community earlier this year.

Between March and April more than a dozen fires were set in the Mid-City area’s neighborhoods in dumpsters, alleyways, trash cans, beds of pickup trucks and flatbed trailers.

Suspect Rolando Resendiz, 24, was arrested in connection with at least three of the arson cases, including one in the 5200 block of Wightman Street in which Resendiz allegedly took off running to an apartment complex after setting a fire.

On Friday, after hearing witness and police testimony, a judge decided Resendiz will stand trial for the arson cases. He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of arson to an inhabited structure and three counts of arson to property.

His mother maintains her son was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had nothing to do with the fires.

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