Fire Rips Through Vacant Building in El Cajon

A large fire ripped through a vacant building in El Cajon early Saturday sending flames shooting through the roof, officials said.

The blaze sparked just before 1:30 a.m. at a commercial structure in the 500 block of South Marshall Avenue. When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke and flames were shooting from the roof of the building, officials said.

A second-alarm was issued and more fire crews were called for backup. Working together, firefighters from El Cajon, La Mesa, San Diego and CAL Fire were able to knock out the blaze in an hour and 20 minutes.

Fire officials said the flames were very intense due to the fact that the building is made of cinder block with a wood exterior. This kept the heat inside, similar to a barbecue pit.

At one point, the flames reached some nearby power lines, but crews were able to get it under control before further damage could be caused.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Neighbors said the building has been vacant for years.

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