Escondido, CA

Vacant home burns down Monday morning

Vacant house destroyed by fire in Escondido

Early Monday morning a vacant house with a “for sale” sign on North Escondido Boulevard near Hwy 78 burned down. The $335,000 house was a complete loss.

The fire began shortly after 3 a.m. and sometime after that a security guard from a nearby business saw the smoke and flames and called 911, according to Escondido Fire Battalion Chief Chip Paulson.

The fire was burning furiously at 3:40 a.m. when fire units began arriving on scene. It was, in fire parlance, “fully involved.” The firefighters went into “defensive mode,” which according to Fire Dept. Public Information Officer Jeff Murdock, means that the firefighters did not enter the structure. Their main mission, he said, was to prevent the fire from spreading.

An offensive mode, on the other hand, would mean aggressively entering the structure to try to put the fire out.

“My understanding is that the fire was really, really hot and they couldn’t enter the building,” said Murdock. He said he didn’t know whether the firefighters knew at the time that the structure was vacant.

Initially five engines and truck were deployed but because the fire was so hot they requested a second alarm, which included another five engines and a truck. Note: an engine carries 500 gallons of water and can also pump water into a house. A fire truck, according to Murdock, is “a big tool box,” with an extensive ladder with a bucket or nozzle at the end of the ladder to direct water down on a fire. It requires an engine to pump water for it.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, however, according to Murdock, arson is not suspected.

The house was a total loss. No one was living in it at the time.

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