Three-alarm fire causes extensive damage to Encinitas home and bluff

(File photo)

A three-alarm fire burned for more than two hours and caused extensive damage to an Encinitas home and a buff behind the property, authorities said Monday, Dec. 23.

The non-injury blaze was reported shortly before 10:50 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at a beachfront home on Neptune Avenue near Jupiter Street, according to the Encinitas Fire Department.

Flames appeared to start on the roof, but the fire eventually spread to the rest of the structure, Encinitas Fire Chief Robert Ford said.

Encinitas spokesperson Paul Brencick said given the amount of water used to put out the fire, and weather conditions, there was some erosion and sliding of dirt and vegetation behind the property where the fire occurred.

Experts assessed the site this morning in the daylight and the city is waiting on a report to determine how much erosion occurred.

Brencick said he visited the site this morning and there was “pretty substantial” erosion, but could not say how much. Property owners and residents in the homes adjacent to the property will be notified of the erosion, he said.

According to the City’s geotechnical expert, part of the erosion involved fissures created by water runoff on an already saturated bluff. Further assessment will continue until after the bluff dries out. Impacted property owners have been advised to seek geotechnical consultation to assess their properties, according to a city news release.

As a precaution, residents and guests are encouraged to keep a safe distance from coastal bluff areas. Warning signs have been posted.

Updates will be posted as they are available on the City of Encinitas’ website ( and the City’s social media accounts, the news release said.

Firefighters from the Carlsbad, Solana Beach and Rancho Santa Fe fire departments responded to help douse the flames.

Crews declared a knockdown by 1:20 a.m., but the blaze caused significant damage to the single-story home, Ford said.

A resident was able to escape unharmed, but it wasn’t immediately clear if the American Red Cross was called in to help the resident arrange for interim lodging.

—San Diego Union-Tribune staff writer Andrea Lopez-Villafaña contributed to this report.