San Diego

Firefighter Burned Battling Brush Fire Near Plaza Bonita Mall

The small fire sparked sometime before 7 a.m. in brush along Plaza Bonita Road near Westfield Plaza Bonita mall

A firefighter fell into flames as crews battled a fire that erupted in a riverbed near Plaza Bonita Mall in National City on Thursday, officials said. 

The firefighter suffered second-degree burns on his back and was taken to UC San Diego Medical Center's burn unit for treatment, National City Fire Department (NCFD) Battalion Chief Robert Hernandez said. 

"He wanted to get back and get on the job, but we made sure he went the opposite way," he said.

The severity of the firefighter's injuries was not known but Hernandez said they did not appear to be life-threatening. The firefighter is a nearly three-year veteran with the NCFD.

The small fire sparked sometime before 7 a.m. in the brush along Plaza Bonita Road near Westfield Plaza Bonita mall.

Crews quickly got a handle on it but at about 10:45 a.m. the fire reignited and NCFD was called back to the scene. 

The injured firefighter stepped into what he thought was solid ground but was actually a hole filled with water. He fell backward and into the fire, Hernandez said. 

The ramp from northbound Interstate 805 to eastbound State-Route 54 was temporarily shut down as a helicopter made water drops on the fire. 

No other information was available.

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