Mira Mesa

Several Vehicles Destroyed, Others Scorched Following Early Morning Carport Fire

NBC Universal, Inc.

An early morning blaze that began "at or under the front of a vehicle" in the carport of a Mira Mesa condo complex is under investigation by arson investigators, according to Sgt. Rick Pechin of the San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team.

Shortly before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) crews responded to a reported vehicle fire at the Canyon Bluffs condo complex at 11555 Caminito La Bar.

When responding crews arrived, they found multiple vehicles and a carport structure engulfed in flames and summoned assistance from additional fire crews, eventually calling upwards of six-dozen firefighters and other personnel to the scene.

In total, 74 personnel had been assigned to the incident, according to SDFD.

Investigators spent Wednesday canvassing the complex for witnesses and security camera footage trying to determine the cause of the fire.

"The fire grew and eventually burned 17 vehicles and damaged the carports and adjacent structure," according to Pechin.

Crews managed to contain the fire as well as prevent it from spreading to other vehicles and the adjacent condos.

Nic Duffee, a complex resident, told NBC 7 that he woke up to his neighbors "banging on the front door," and that at first, he wasn't sure of what was going on outside so he was a bit hesitant to look out, but when he saw his neighbors running around and "figured something bad was going on."

Duffee added that when he did make it outside with his wife, he was able to see the flames over the roof of the building next door.

The fire caused an estimated $300,000 in damage to the vehicles, and another $250,000 to the carport structure, according to SDFD.

Investigators are also looking into the cause of a two other vehicle fire in the Mira Mesa area Pechin described as "suspicious"

The first fire involved two vehicles that caught fire in a driveway on Vela Drive just after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. The second fire was reported at about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday, along Theresa Drive near Zapata Ave.

Pechin added that although it's too early to connect the two incidents or say the incidents are related to a crime series, "at this point we cannot rule out anything as the cause however we are treating it as suspicious due to the fact they were close in proximity to each other."

View the map below showing the area of the three incidents and the proximity between them:

Pechin requested that any witness or individual who may have information related to the fires, please call the Metro Arson Strike Team at (619) 236-6815 or report a tip anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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