Chula Vista police were called to help firefighters investigate how a blaze erupted at an abandoned building at a busy shopping center Wednesday night.
The fire broke out at a shopping center along H Street in the Rancho Del Rey community of Chula Vista at about 9 p.m.
When crews arrived to the scene, they noticed a man acting "oddly" and called police for backup, Chula Vista Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Nelson said.
The man was running around outside the building and yelling, according to Nelson. Firefighters also noticed several sparking points suggesting that the fire may have been started intentionally, Nelson said.
"It appears that somebody was trying to burn the building," he said.
The man ran away before CVPD officers arrived and it was unclear if he was detained.
Crews tackled the blaze, which had extended into the walls of the building but was not producing heavy flames, and had the fire out in a matter of minutes, Nelson said.
The building was vacant at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. It was not clear how much damage was caused.
No other information was available.
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