Brush fire burns four acres; 9,500 lose power

LAKESIDE, Calif. - An investigation was under way into what sparked a brush fire that burned about four acres near homes and a shopping center in Lakeside Thursday, knocking out power to more than 9,500 customers, authorities said.

The fire near the 7-Eleven at Lake Jennings Park Road and El Monte Road erupted shortly before 7 a.m., according to San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Rich Williams.

Fire crews from several agencies rushed to the area and went on an all-out attack, stopping it just across the street from homes and families.

While San Diego Gas & Electric officials would only say the cause was under investigation, some neighbors told 10News the brush fire broke out after two power lines touched.

It was a scary sight for people who live nearby like Pat Fitzsimmons.

"The people who were working on the hillside, they came up, jumped up over the hill here and started knocking on everyone's doors, letting them know about the fire," Fitzsimmons said. "So, great job by those guys."

Shortly after 8 a.m., crews stopped the fire at four acres, according to Cal Fire. The state firefighting agency was one of several entities that assisted Lakeside Fire in battling the blaze, which was dubbed the El Monte Fire.

No injuries were reported and no structures damaged.

According to San Diego Gas & Electric, the fire was not sparked by one of its transformers and the cause was under investigation. Power was eventually restored.

For many, the timing of the fire couldn't have been worse with the double whammy of record temperatures and record winds.

This fire was mainly a close call, but some wonder what's next.

"It's going to be a bad season," Fitzsimmons said.

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