San Diego

Crews Extinguish 5-Acre Brush Fire in Escondido Sparked During Auto Repair

The Escondido Fire Department (EFD) put out a 5-acre brush fire near 11th Avenue on Sunday.

According to EFD, the fire started at around 2:15 p.m. at 2066 Lemon Avenue when sparks from a person using a grinder during vehicle repair set fire to dry brush.

The fire was spreading at a medium rate, but firefighteres were able to contain it at 5 acres.

An outdoor garage and a stretch of vinyl fencing were damaged, according to EFD Emergency Preparedness Manager Jeff Murdoc, but no one was injured.

"Even though we requested a helicopter, there was enough defensible space around the homes that we were able to stop the forward spread of the fire and cancel the helicopters," Murdoc said.

Nearby resident Travis Costelloe was watching TV when a neighbor started banging on his front door to warn him of the fire.

"I just heard a bunch of knocking on the door," Costelloe said. "I was kind of suspicious, then I opened the door and she was like, 'Fire! Fire!'"

Costelloe said he ran out and gave the woman one of his hoses from his backyard so she could spray a fence.

Costelloe grabbed another hose for himself, and as the fire moved closer, he and his neighbor were able to douse the flames and protect their properties.

The flames closer to his property, Costelloe said, were about a foot tall. but he saw bigger flames on other neighbors' properties.

Neighbor Kristen Buehler was alerted to the fire when she heard crackling outside her window. She told her husband who grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran outside.

"By the time we got out on street, you could see the palm trees were engulfed in flames and it just spread on the hill very, very quickly. It was very, very frightening."

Buehler thankd the Escondido Fire Department which she credited with working hard to save the surrounding homes and structures.

Murdoc said firefighters from EFD, Cal Fire and San Marcos responded to the fire.

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