Fire Forces Evacuation of La Mesa Apartment Complex

An apartment complex in La Mesa was evacuated and eight people, including a child, were displaced after a raging fire ripped through the building.

Crews responded to the fire in the 8400 block of Buckland Street just after 8:20 p.m. Friday. Heavy smoke and flames were shooting from the building, stemming from two apartment units on the second floor of the two-story complex.

More fire crews were called in to help tackle the flames.

Tenants were evacuated from the complex. Five apartments were impacted by the fire, displacing multiple residents, fire officials said.

Lisa McManamon, who lives in an apartment across from where the fire started, said she spotted the flames through the window of a unit.

"There were flames coming off the stove," she said. "It got big real fast."
Instantly, she ran over to the unit, knocked on the door to alert the tenants, but no one answered. So she went door-to-door to alert other residents of the fire.

That's when tenants started evacuating as crews arrived.

"It went real quick," she said.

Meanwhile, firefighters were urging people to avoid the area for two hours after the fire broke out, so they could knock it down. Crews were able to extinguish it within 20 minutes, Heartland Fire & Rescue officials said.

The American Red Cross is offering assistance to those displaced.

Three apartment units were heavily damaged in the blaze and two more sustained smoke and water damage. There are a total of 12 units in the complex. Investigators are still determining the total damage estimates.

No one was injured. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, Heartland Fire & Rescue said Saturday, but investigators said it started in the kitchen of one of the units and does not appear suspicious in nature.

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