A fire burning at a recycling center in the Spring Valley area threatened nearby homes and prompted evacuations Tuesday.
Flames sent thick smoke into the area over the paper recycling company located on Bancroft Drive, southeast of the State Route 125 and 94 interchange.
Cal Fire crews were called just before 7 a.m. and said the fire was threatening surrounding homes.
Elizabeth Nolasco saw flames shooting high into the air and went to her neighbors to alert them.
"Got out as soon as possible. We saw everybody else, started banging on their doors, 'Hey get up, there's a fire,'" Nolasco said. "Nobody was aware of it."
San Diego County Sheriff's Department evacuated four homes.
One firefighter was carried to an ambulance with injuries to his shoulder and leg. He was conscious but clearly in pain.
Cal Fire used a bulldozer and hand crews to come in and break up bales of paper.
Bancroft Drive was closed to traffic between SR-94 and Kenwood Drive, officials said.
Firefighters believe it may be hours before the fire is extinguished.