Wildfire Evacuees Evacuated for Second Time

The hotel fire was reportedly started by cigarette butts

After settling into an Oceanside hotel, some wildfire evacuees were forced to relocate again.

A fire started around 8:30 a.m. Thursday at the Comfort Inn in the 800 block of North Coast Highway. It started after cigarette butts were left on an outdoor deck, according to Oceanside Fire Battalion Chief Felipe Rodriguez.

Eighty-seven adults and 22 kids were evacuated, Rodriguez said. Most of them had been forced from their homes amid a rash of wildfires in San Diego County.

Shawn Young was staying at the Comfort Inn after the Tomahawk Fire threatened base housing on Camp Pendleton.

“The next thing you know, we wake up in the morning with a fire alarm going off,” Young said. “Now we’re getting evacuated from our hotel because it’s on fire.”

“I thought it was a drill,” he said.

Although the fire was extinguished in just minutes, the second and third floors sustained such bad water damage that hotel guests had to pack up and leave.

Carlsbad resident Kathy Rutledge tried to stay positive as she loaded her cat Oliver into the car, preparing to evacuate for the second time in less than 24 hours.

“There’s a silver lining in every cloud,” she said.

Rutledge said she's been lucky; some of her neighbors lost their apartments in the Poinsettia Fire, now known as the San Diego Complex.

Evacuations for both Carlsbad and Camp Pendleton have since been lifted.

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