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Fire breaks out at University City townhouse complex

Posted at 8:13 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 15:27:42-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A fire erupted at a University City townhouse complex Wednesday morning, prompting a large response from firefighters and displacing several residents.

Just after 6:15 a.m., San Diego Fire-Rescue crews were dispatched to the 7900 block of Playmor Terrace in response to a fire burning on the first floor of a four-unit complex.

ABC 10News learned at least 70 firefighters were on hand to battle the blaze as it reached second alarm status.

Fire officials said the blaze began inside a condominium and spread to a next-door unit. Everyone, including pets, made it out safely, but firefighters faced several challenges.

SDFD Battalion Chief David Pilkerton said, “Ss you can tell on the street, access is difficult. Once we got one unit on the scene and staged, the other units had to park on the outside streets to bring those resources in.”

Another challenge was the foggy conditions. When crews first arrived in the neighborhood, fog made it difficult to determine where the fire was and how big it had gotten.

Tommy Collins, who lives with his family in one of the condos damaged, said they woke up to the smell of smoke.

“Suddenly, a burst of water came pouring into our storage room where the water heater is and it was a sudden burst of water. I thought, ‘Something’s going on,’ and I heard screaming from the next door neighbor. And neighbors were screaming, ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’” said Collins.

It took crews about 30 minutes to knock down the fire.

At least two families were displaced due to the blaze, and they were being assisted by the American Red Cross.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.