OCEANSIDE — A fast moving fire in east Oceanside destroyed a condominium and sadly killed a family dog Sunday evening.
The fire took place in the Jeffries Ranch community. A resident who had just moved in, returned to the condominium with a friend and smelled smoke. Upon opening the door the two encountered extremely heavy smoke, and were unable to make it inside to rescue the chocolate Labrador.
Shortly after their attempt to enter, the entire downstairs erupted in flames and the two fled from the building.
Oceanside firefighters arrived within seven minutes. At that time the two-story four-unit condominium complex had heavy smoke and fire coming from the middle unit.
Firefighters quickly pulled attack lines to the front door. Crews made an initial attack on the fire from outside the structure. After cooling the fire, they advanced hose lines through the fully involved downstairs, and into the upstairs portion of the unit.
Two additional engine crews arrived within minutes. Additional crews ventilated the structure to reduce heat and gasses, and attacked the fire that had extended through the eves and breezeway to the next-door unit.
Thirty-six firefighters responded, and were able to bring the fire under control within 30 minutes.
The unit where the fire started was completely destroyed. The heat of the fire burned through the first and second floor, floor joints, and caused a partial collapse inside the unit.
Two other units suffered smoke damaged.
The resident of the destroyed unit had just rented it, and moved in earlier that day. She and her friend left the house for three hours, and had not noticed smoke or signs of a fire earlier.
The deceased dog was recovered by firefighters after the fire was extinguished. The owner was allowed time with the remains. Then the dog was turned over to the San Diego Humane Society.
A member of the Trauma Intervention Program was on scene to assist the resident. All affected parties were able to make other lodging arrangements.
An Oceanside Fire Department investigator responded to the scene to determine the cause and origin of the fire. Based on the volume of fire, and the extensive damage to the floor and walls, it is concluded that the fire burned undetected for some period of time.
The cause remains under investigation.
Damage is estimated at $250,000 for structure and contents. Approximately $750,000 of additional damage to the four-unit complex and contents was prevented by responding personnel.