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Tips sought in unsolved Vista arson fire

Vista Business fire
Vista Businesses fire
Vista businesses fire 1172021
Vista businesses fire 1172021
Posted at 3:05 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 20:01:11-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) -- Authorities reached out to the public Wednesday for help in identifying a man who sparked a blaze that caused an estimated $2 million worth of damage in a commercial district in Vista.

The arson fire erupted in an alley behind a market in the 400 block of North Santa Fe Avenue shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 17 and quickly spread to nearby businesses, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

RELATED: Arson investigators look into fire that damaged four Vista businesses

The blaze forced evacuations of several apartments above the grocery store but caused no reported injuries.

The man who set the fire was described as a heavyset Latino in his 20s to mid-30s with short, dark hair. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt, dark colored shorts, white socks and dark colored shoes.

Anyone who might be able to help detectives track down the perpetrator was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or contact the agency online at Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.