House Full Of Debris Goes Up In Smoke

House full of debris catches on fire, neighbors say resident lived like a 'pack rat.'

A Del Cerro house full of debris caught on fire, presenting an unusual challenge for firefighters. And to make matters worse, the home had a metal roof installed over an old shake shingle roof and parts of the shake shingle also caught on fire.

The fire started Monday just before 5 p.m. in the 6600 block of Casselberry Way.

"Our crews trying to make a quick attack on the fire and get in the house were blocked at every entrance by debris," said Maurice Luque, with the San Diego Fire Department.

Neighbors say two brothers lived at the house. They were not at home at the time of the fire. Neighbors also took note of the unusual collection habits of one of the brothers.

"You would always see one with a shopping cart walking down the street, the cart just full of stuff. He was like a pack rat," said Jan Kinslow, a Del Cerro resident.

After 2 1/2 hours, smoke was still pouring from the roof. Crews had to peel up the metal roof to get to the shake shingle roof. The homeowner came home for a brief time, but quickly left the scene.

"He couldn't talk, he just stood there in disbelief," said Carol Levine, who lives across the street.

Investigators are not sure how the fire started, but say it started in the kitchen. Damage was estimated at $450,000. No one was hurt during the fire.

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