Fire safety reminder on 15th anniversary of tragic downtown fire in Encinitas


In marking the 15th anniversary of the devastating commercial fire in downtown Encinitas Dec. 6, 2000 and with the holidays in full swing, the Encinitas Fire Department wishes to remind all businesses to exercise caution and be vigilant of fire hazards.

The downtown fire, which destroyed four businesses on South Coast Highway between D and E streets, started in a dumpster behind one of the businesses. At the time of this fire, the fire department, with only four stations, was handling simultaneous incidents, but was still able to limit the extent of the damage. Today there are six fire stations in Encinitas and the department is much better equipped now to deal with multiple emergencies.

In addition, the city is continually implementing fire prevention measures to mitigate potential fire risks that may threaten community safety. Every business in Encinitas receives an annual code compliance inspection from the Fire Department.

The Fire Department also encourages businesses to be proactive and exercise caution in their workplaces — such as holiday decorations, candles, portable heaters, overcrowded power strips, and more.

Preparedness and fire safety for businesses cannot be overstated. An estimated 25 percent of small businesses that experience a major disaster do not recover, according to the Institute for Business & Home Safety, 2007. Owners should explore the resources below and ensure they have a plan in place to reduce the chances of losing their business in a disaster, whether natural or manmade.

Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website at, the U.S. website and the City of Encinitas at