updated 1921 hrs
Oceanside CA— Thick smoke enveloped the area surrounding a structure fire at 4853 Siesta Drive, in northeast Oceanside, on Wednesday, afternoon, October 14, 2015. Firefighters from Oceanside and Camp Pendleton were dispatched to the scene at 3:11 pm.
The first engine arrived at the scene in less than five minutes after dispatch and found a well involved attached garage with the fire spreading to the inside of the single story, single family residence. Having been told there were no trapped victims, the first fire crews focused on getting control of the fire inside the residence while also conducting a complete search to confirm no one was still inside. Additional crews were assigned to extinguish the fire in the residence and in the garage, as well as climb to the roof and cut a hole to release the smoke and hot gasses present inside the structure.
“It looks like the fire may have started in the garage and the cause is currently under investigation.” said Oceanside Battalion Chief Greg DeAvila. “The crews made their way inside after getting through all the smoke, found the fire made its way into part of the house and they had to deal with that.” continued the Chief, “We are removing items from the house to try and preserve some of their property.”
“We just got through completely rehabbing the house inside and out.” related the owner of the home, Arlene Shafer as firefighters were mopping up and clearing debris from the garage. “We repainted the interior and exterior and put all new things in there.” she added “But they are just things. I’m glad the tenants all got out safely.”
Ms. Shafer, who rents the house out, said the tenants were home at the time. “The mother was inside changing her clothes when her son told her the house was on fire.”
Fernando Gonzalez, who had just brought a case of drinking water to the firefighters, lives across the street described what he witnessed. “I saw the smoke and a kid running out, then more kids ran inside the house. An Oceanside Police Officer knocked on the door and got everyone out.” Fernando explained the kids were walking home from school when they saw the fire and ran home.
Chief DeAvila said four Engine companies, two Truck companies, one squad and one Medic unit responded to the scene along with a Battalion Chief from Vista Fire. There were no injuries and no damage estimate was available at this time.
UPDATE: Damage has been estimated at $190,000 with $160,000 associated with the structure itself, and an additional $30,000 in damage to the contents of the garage and residence. The fire completely destroyed the garage, as well as caused extensive fire damage to the kitchen and living room portions of the house. There was also smoke and heat damage throughout the entire residence.