2 people hospitalized after vegetation fire in City Heights

Fire reported near 54th Street, Chollas Parkway

SAN DIEGO - Two people were hospitalized on Tuesday after a vegetation fire in City Heights.

The fire was reported at about 8:30 p.m. near 54th Street and Chollas Parkway.

According to authorities, transients were camping in the area and the fire may have been sparked after a woman may have fallen asleep while smoking. A man with her had a bucket of water that he used to put out the fire, which was already extinguished when crews arrived.

The two were transported to the UCSD burn center. The woman is in critical condition. There is no word on the man's condition.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department's Metro Arson Strike Team and San Diego police were called out to assist.

Capt. Ralph Carrasquillo, who is with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, said if the fire had burned a few seconds longer, it could have easily gotten out of control and caused a major wildfire.

"Up above us we have a lot of houses on this ridge, heavy vegetation area, large fire load here," he said. "It could have very easily taken this whole canyon."

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

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