San Diego

Man Floods Entire Apartment Building in Little Italy

"It was gushing like it came out of a fire hydrant," one resident said of the excess water at 1810 State Street

A man was in custody Monday, accused of purposefully flooding an entire apartment complex in the Little Italy section of San Diego. 

Emergency crews were called to EighteenTen State Street near the corner of State and Elm streets just after midnight. 

Officers found eight floors had been flooded after a man opened a fire hose on the eighth floor.

"It was gushing like it came out of a fire hydrant," said resident John Dahlgren.

A man was arrested after police say he turned on the fire hose valves and sent water rushing through all eight floors of an apartment complex located at 1810 State St. NBC 7's Audra Stafford reports.

Dozens of residents woke up to a screeching fire alarm just after midnight. A witness shared a video showing water had reached to just about a foot from the top of the fire door in a stairwell leading to the parking garage. 

Water covered the floor of the parking area underneath the complex, according to video obtained by NBC 7.

Some residents said the water damaged their personal property held in garage storage units.

Francisco Morales, 37, was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony vandalism, according to Billy Hernandez, spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department. 

Hernandez did not provide a possible motive for the vandalism. No residents who spoke with NBC 7 were familiar with Morales. They couldn't think of a reason anyone would want to flood the building, and also questioned how Morales got into the complex because residents use a security badge.

Apartments in the complex rent for anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 per month according to rental websites. 

The building is located east of Interstate 5, north of the 1st Avenue exit and across the street from Washington Elementary School. 

Officials said residents were told to leave the building but they did not provide a number of units affected by the flooding. 

Colleen Sullivan lives in the building next door to 1810 State Street and said she had just gotten dropped off around 12:30 a.m. when she saw the river of water gushing down the street. 

"It felt like the Titanic," Sullivan told NBC 7.

McMillin LLC., the owner and developer of the apartment complex, issued the following statement:

"It is our priority to ensure that our tenants are safe and well taken care of. Our Eighteen Ten State St. apartments are professionally managed by Alliance Residential Company, and they are working around the clock to facilitate all tenant inquires. The damage is currently being assessed, and plans are in motion to address repairs and interim solutions. In regards to details of the crime or the individual associated, we do not currently have any comment, as the police are investigating.”

Police also confirmed that San Diego Gas & Electric crews were called to the complex to shut off power. 

Scott Baird/NBC 7

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