SAN DIEGO – A man has been arrested on arson charges in a blaze that broke out at his apartment in San Diego’s Talmadge neighborhood early Thursday morning.
David Jetter, 34, was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on one count of arson Thursday morning. San Diego police said Jetter and his wife reside at the apartment with their two children. At some point overnight Wednesday, the couple had an argument. Jeter then set some papers on fire, police said. That fire got out of control.
However, San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson Lee Swanson told 10News Jetter’s wife and children were not home at the time of the fire.
The blaze broke out in the master bedroom of the second-story unit in the 4400 block of 50th Street sometime before 2:47 a.m., according to Swanson.
Several residents in the six-unit complex were awoken by the smoke and in turn alerted their neighbors. All residents got out safely and there were no injuries. One man said he entered the burning apartment to try and extinguish the fire himself.
“I banged on their door,” neighbor Edward Chang told 10News. “I saw the fire. I actually went in the unit and broke one of the fire extinguishers trying to put it out.”
About 40 SDFR personnel responded and knocked down the fire within about 20 minutes, Swanson said. It was contained to the bedroom, although the apartment below sustained some water damage.
“All I heard was this persistent tapping,” neighbor Laila Salvador said. “Tap, tap. I don’t know what that is. And all of a sudden, I hear a lady screaming, ‘OMG, OMG, somebody, everybody, get up, get up, neighbors.’ And then I heard, ‘fire!’ So that’s when I got my daughter out.”
Kalil Latif, who lives across the street, said, "There were fire engines, police cars, paramedics from that corner to that corner. The street was lit up like a Christmas party out here and I saw smoke from the back of the roof; a lady running around the street, screaming, 'Get out of the house! Everybody wake up, get out of the house.!'"
The Red Cross was assisting Jetter’s wife and children with temporary housing. All other residents were allowed back into their apartments.
Damage to the complex was estimated at around $250,000.
Jetter’s arraignment is scheduled for Monday afternoon.