San Diego

‘Verge of Crying': Resident Recalls Mt. Hope Fire Inch Toward Apartment Complex

A brush fire burning along State Route 94 quickly rushed up a hillside and came dangerously close to an apartment complex in the Mt. Hope area Friday morning.

The blaze began at around 6:20 a.m. near Home Avenue and SR-94 and sent a plume of smoke over the freeway, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue.

SkyRanger 7 spotted flames crawl up a hillside and near an apartment complex. The fire was climbing up trees but did not appear to be spreading to any structures.

“It was really scary. You could feel the flames,” said resident Michael Decasas. “I was on the verge of crying, because I was really scared for my family.”

Several fire engines were dotted along SR-94 and could be seen laying hose lines.

By about 6:45, the column of smoke pouring from the fire turned white, indicating that crews were getting a handle on the blaze.

“I moved the car. I ran back. I told my girlfriend, get the kids, she got the kids. By the time I came back, they were ready to go,” Decasas told NBC 7.

Decasas has two kids, 2-year-old Eli and 3-year-old Emma.

Within about 15 minutes, SDFD said the fire was halted at about a quarter-acre.

NBC 7's Sheena Parveen said winds in the area were not likely to boost the fire's spread.

“Just that whole experience of waking up to that type of thing was -- I'm still trying to calm down. It was pretty wild,” Decasas said.

Two lanes of westbound SR-94 were closed so crews could continue to monitor the blaze. The closure would last approximately an hour, according to California Highway Patrol communication.

Earlier this week, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer urged everyone to be on the lookout for anything suspicious that could spark fires, especially in canyons like the one near the apartment complex Friday morning, and report it to the city immediately, through the Get It Done app.

Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

Contact Us