Person found dead in fire near Plaza Bonita Mall

SAN DIEGO - Firefighters came across a badly burned body Wednesday while battling a fire that scorched about an acre in an area near Plaza Bonita Mall.

The blaze erupted alongside Interstate 805 and state Route 54 shortly after noon, National City Fire Chief Frank Parra said.

Firefighters from four area agencies attacked the flames by ground and air. It took them about an hour to fully douse the flames, which spread through thick vegetation growing 12 feet tall in spots.

Crews found the dead person near an area that had been used by transients as a campground, Parra said. The county Medical Examiner's Office was called in to take custody of the body for identification and autopsy purposes.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

No structures, including the mall, were threatened.

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