Linda Vista

Series of Suspicious Fires Investigated in Linda Vista

San Diego police and fire investigators are looking into five suspicious fires, all ignited in less then 20 minutes and within walking distance of each other Sunday night.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

San Diego police are investigating a series of five suspicious fires in the Linda Vista and Morena neighborhoods that occurred late Sunday night.

The fires were ignited in trash cans, dumpsters, and dry vegetation.

One started in a dumpster at Lauretta and Eureka streets, a densely-populated area near the University of San Diego campus. Many living in the surrounding apartments are students.

As if college students don't have enough on their minds, there was this scary moment to consider.  

"We don't usually lock our doors but last night it was like, OK, should we lock our doors tonight just to be safe?" USD Senior Carolina Moreno said.   

In a photo taken by Carolina Moreno's neighbor, you see thick smoke and flames pouring out the dumpster behind her apartment.

‪#Nightnews San Diego Police and Fire respond to 4 fires in less than 20 minutes. All within walking distance of each other. What’s up? We’re live at 11. #NBC7 ‬

Posted by Dave Summers - NBC 7 San Diego on Monday, February 17, 2020

"It was the smell that caught our attention. We didn't see anybody. We didn't hear anything out of the ordinary," USD student Perla Cruz said.  

The San Diego Police Department and San Diego Fire-Rescue responded just around 11 p.m. Sunday to that fire and four others.

“That's so random. That would never happen on its own," Cruz said.

The first happened at 10:57 p.m. and the next four were in a span of 19 minutes starting at 11:16 p.m., each within walking distance of the other. The fires started in two dumpsters, a trash can and some brush.

"Definitely sounds suspicious and if there are multiple incidents it's something we probably want to look into," neighbor Casey Kennedy said.

People who came outside afterward were shocked at the amount of water needed to put it out. It was puddling around their apartments like a moat.

Thankfully, there were no injuries and the damage was limited. 

"Your car, which is my roommate’s car right here, is covered in ash," Moreno said.

With so many cars and people packed in one area, the potential of a greater danger weighs heavy on their minds.

"I couldn't imagine if it was like later in the evening when everybody was asleep," Cruz said.

Because of the holiday no one from the Metro Arson Strike Team was available to verify whether the fires were started intentionally or whether they were connected.

SDPD told NBC 7 that one fire was reported as arson.

Contact Us