San Diego

Electrical Malfunction Caused Smoky University City House Fire: SDFD

An electrical malfunction inside a University City home Thursday sent a thick, black cloud of smoke over the neighborhood and residents crowding into the street. 

When San Diego Fire-Rescue crews arrived at the home on Millikin Avenue, the garage was filled with flames that one neighbor said was towering over the home. 

"I came outside to have a look and I saw the house across the road, the flames were 20 feet higher than the roof. It was really frightening," neighbor Sidney Frievman said. 

Dozens of neighbors with concerned expressions poured into the street along with Frievman as crews worked for about 15 minutes to get the fire under control.

All residents were outside the home when crews arrived, SDFD said. It was not clear if anyone was injured.

Personnel from SDPD's Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) were at the scene.

The fire displaced two adults, a kid and a pet. 

Investigators at the scene said the car parked inside the garage was fully engulfed in flames and could have been the culprit of the fire.

Upon investigation, it was determined the cause was electrical, SDFD spokesperson Monica Munoz said. 

A mustang with a scorched, raised hood could be seen sitting outside the garage. The home's exterior had burn marks to most of the exterior and part of the top story was gutted. 

The fire caused an estimated $300,000 to the structure of the building and about $150,000 in damage to the contents of the house, Monoz said.

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