San Diego

New Cars Burned in Fire Near National City

“There were pops, explosions. Looks like several of the tires exploded off the rims,” a police captain said

New and used cars stored near the Mile of Cars in National City were damaged in a fire near a highway interchange, prompting an arson investigation.

The National City Fire Department was called to 3200 Hoover Ave. after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The location is just east of Interstate 5 and north of State Route 54.

The fire started just west of the parking lot and spread into a lot of vehicles belonging to companies in the Mile of Cars, police said.

Flames burned brush and several vehicles parked within a chainlink fence. 

“From what I saw, the majority (of the cars) were brand new. Looks like there may have been one or two used, “ said Capt. Graham Young with National City Police Department.

“There were pops, explosions. Looks like several of the tires exploded off the rims,” he said.

A National City Fire Department Fire Chief told NBC 7 that 21 cars were totaled and five others were damaged. The National City Police Department is investigating the case as a potential act of arson.

SkyRanger 7 captured video of the flames and it appeared at least 21 cars had been damaged. 

A drone was used to help look for possible victims and help firefighters determine the direction of the fire.

There were no reports of injury, police said.

Fire investigators were on scene to find a point of origin.  

Because the damage involves new cars, fire officials will conduct an investigation to rule out arson, Young said.

No other information was available.

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