Fire at commercial building in East Village scares apartment complex residents next door

NBC Universal, Inc.

Firefighters stopped a blaze that sparked Monday night at a commercial building in the East Village before it spread to a nearby apartment building.

Nidia de la Fuente was one of the first to spot the flames. She was on the second floor of an apartment complex near 16th and G streets when she smelled something concerning.

"I kind of smelled some smoke, and I was like ‘Who’s smoking around here?’ de la Fuente said.

She turned around and saw flames covering the roof of the Aztec Appliance building near the intersection of G and 15th and called 911.

The roof of the building collapsed, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Investigators say the fire may have started as a trash fire set by a homeless person.

De la Fuente said she was afraid she'd have to drop everything and evacuate, but the order never came.

"I have cats, so that was my concern, having to grab my cats and my stuff," de la Fuente said. "I’m thankful for [firefighters], they stopped it.”

Firefighters were asking neighbors to close their windows and shelter from the smoke. SDFD said firefighters have responded to the same building multiple times.

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