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One dead in Encinitas house fire; cause under investigation

The blaze was reported about 8:10 p.m. at a home on Arroyo Drive in a neighborhood off Encinitas Boulevard and Vulcan Avenue
The blaze was reported about 8:10 p.m. at a home on Arroyo Drive in a neighborhood off Encinitas Boulevard and Vulcan Avenue
(OnScene TV)

The blaze was reported about 8:10 p.m. at a home on Arroyo Drive in a neighborhood off Encinitas Boulevard and Vulcan Avenue

One person died Friday night, Jan. 3, when flames engulfed the top floor of an Encinitas home, authorities said.

It was not immediately known what sparked the deadly blaze, which was reported about 8:10 p.m. on Arroyo Drive, a dead-end street near Ocean View Avenue north of Cottonwood Creek Park, in a residential neighborhood between Moonlight State Beach and Interstate 5.

San Diego sheriff’s Lt. Ed Greenawald reported that one person died. No details about that person were immediately available.

Several people called 911 to report the blaze, which grew quickly and engulfed the second floor of the blocky, two-story home, Encinitas fire Deputy Chief Robert Ford told OnScene TV. Part of the home’s roof collapsed.

The first deputy to respond to the calls entered the home to try to find victims but was unable to access the second floor due to the fire. They deputy was taken to UCSD Medical Center for smoke-inhalation injuries, authorities said.

Firefighters were able to search the ground floor of the home, which Ford said was in “good shape,” and found no victims. But firefighters could not immediately ascend to the second floor to search for victims because it was “unsafe and untenable,” Ford said.

Before the victim was found, Ford had told OnScene TV that there was “one gentleman that lived in the house” who was not immediately accounted for.

Fire crews contained the flames and were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes, Ford said.

A bomb/arson squad from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was called in to investigate because of how quickly the fire spread “and for the potential that we might have somebody unaccounted for,” Ford said before the victim was found.

Several residential streets in the area were blocked off Friday night, Jan. 3, according to Greenawald. Deputies set up road closures at Arroyo Drive and Ocean View Avenue and at Ocean View Avenue and Sunset Drive. Motorists were asked to avoid the area.

— Alex Riggins is a reporter for The San Diego Union Tribune


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