Man Who Shot Video That May Show Start of Gate Fire Speaks

Chris Carvalho said the people he thinks started the fire casually walked away as if nothing had happened

“It was a normal Saturday,” Chris Carvalho, who shot video of what may be the literal first spark of the Gate Fire, told NBC 7 Sunday. “We were just having fun … Someone yelled fire.”

Carvalho and a friend were at the Pink Gate Shooting Range near Jamul Saturday when they saw flames shooting up and quickly spreading - after a group of friends fired their guns in some dry brush.

“We went out there, we shot off a couple hundred rounds between new pistols, my AR, my shot gun,” he said.

He said a group of people started dumping water and kicking dirt on the fire. “I thought they had it handled,” he 7.

But when the group started to leave, “I see them walk away and then all of sudden I see a huge flame start happening,” He said. That’s when it started to spread.

“I did hear them call the police at first describing where they are at, that there was a fire,” he explained. “The people, the guys just casually walk away like nothing happened, grab their stuff and just leave.”

Since it began Saturday morning, the Gate Fire had burned 2,056 acres and was 70 percent contained by Sunday evening. Many residents in the area have evacuated to a shelter at the Otay Ranch High School in Chula Vista.

“It really sucks for the people just living around there they have to suffer because some irresponsible gun owners,” Carvalho added.

Investigators have started a criminal investigation and said they are aware of the video.

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