Devices discovered at the scene of an apartment fire in Chula Vista on Monday possibly point to explosives being involved in the incident, a source from the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) told NBC 7.
The fire began at the Seawind Apartments near 4th Avenue and Naples Street just after 2 p.m. Monday. Firefighters arrived on scene to find smoke coming from the building and began checking units for any possible trapped victims.
Cell phone video of the fire appears to show a fireball explode from the window of a unit where the fire had sparked. Witnesses and firefighters said there were at least three explosions from the apartment.
A police source told NBC 7 that it appears from the damage that there was form of dangerous devices inside the apartment unit that caused the explosions.
Cindy Wallace said she heard two blasts while she ran from the complex with her dog.
“Somebody knocked on my door. As soon as I answered it, the apartment across from it blew up," Wallace said.
Bomb squad units were called to the scene and are now investigating. There is no threat to the public, the police source said.
"As soon as I went downstairs there was another ‘Boom’,” she added.
Wallace said she was able to get out of her apartment safely with the help of two men.
"Everybody always needs a little bit of help, doesn't matter what you wear, who you are or where you come from, everybody can be a hero," said Juan Samaniego, who helped Wallace.
Wallace was given oxygen by the paramedics. They wanted her to go to the hospital but she declined.
One person was taken into custody for an outstanding felony warrant. CVPD told NBC 7 that the man may also have something to do with starting the fire.
Police say two people were treated for burns, including the man taken into custody.
Authorities were still on scene as of 11 p.m. Monday collecting evidence from the scene.
Residents in 24 units were not permitted to return to their apartments. The local Red Cross secured hotel rooms for 16 people while the rest are staying with family and friends.
The Seawind Apartment complex is about a block from the Northgate Market.