A fire outside a Santee home is being investigated as possible arson after several trees went up in flames Friday morning, forcing some residents to evacuate.
Crews were called to a neighborhood just off Magnolia Avenue near El Nopal just before 4:45 a.m. where at least two Juniper trees were on fire in a home's front yard, the Heartland Fire Department said.
A resident from inside the home grabbed a water hose and attempted to spray the trees before firefighters arrived. The trees were fully engulfed in flames, video of the scene showed.
Neighbors next door, eight people including children and a baby, were evacuated as the flames threatened to spread to their home, they told NBC 7.
A family inside the home where the fire started did not need to evacuate, firefighters said.
No injuries were reported.
Crews were able to knock the fire down within minutes of arrival.
There was some minor damage to one of the homes and a fence was burned.
At the base of the trees, firefighters spotted melted junk and debris. Crews said compost can often generate heat when decomposing also.
Investigators are looking into possible arson. The exact cause of the fire was still under investigation.
No other information was available.
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