A quickly evolving fire scorched three garage units and six cars early Sunday in Chula Vista, fire officials said.
The blaze broke out around 2:36 a.m. Sunday on the 500 block of Telegraph Canyon Road off Oleyander Avenue, the Chula Vista Fire Department (CVFD) and San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) said.
When units arrived after the call, firefighters began evacuating people from their homes. The complex was too tight for multiple engines to get through, so they dragged hoses far down the street to reach the area.
"Due to all the materials inside the vehicle fire, it's often difficult to put them out," said CVFD Battalion Chief Chris Manroe. "There are metals that flare up when you put water on them."
A nearby section of brush also caught on fire, further complicating the battle.
Resident David, who lost one of his cars in the fire, said he was looking at the silver lining: he still has his house.
"My daughter was asking me, if everything would be alright, and I said, you know, we're here, we're safe," David said. "Everything is going to be alright."
No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.
No further information was immediately available.