Dazed and confused residents of Eagles Point Apartments at 1501 E Grand Avenue were reeling from a series of vexing vehicle fires early Wednesday morning.
The jury remains out whether the fires were accidental or set by arsonists.
The long night’s fiery journey into day started around 1 a.m. when Escondido Fire Department units responded to a report of three vehicles — a car, SUV and pickup truck — set ablaze under a carport at the apartment complex. Flying embers landed on a nearby tree igniting another, smaller fire.
With thick smoke filling the cold night air, firefighters beat down the blazes in 20 minutes before they could spread to the nearby apartment buildings. However, several other vehicles were damaged in the interim, according to reports.
Norm Richardson, an Eagles Point resident, told local TV new crews his car would have been at Ground Zero except for what seemed like bad news that turned out well. His car was in the shop for repairs.
“It woke me up about 1:15 a.m. because people were running around. Someone pulled a fire alarm and the first thing I saw was Channel 8 at 4:30 a.m. this morning,” Rutherford said.
Unfortunately, that was not all she wrote for the Eagles Point peeps. A second blaze erupted around 4:30 a.m.
At that point, reportedly, Steve Cox, a 10News photographer at the scene, attempted to extinguish the new flames with a fire extinguisher. Close, but no cigar as his efforts failed.
Firefighters were called back to the scene where they reported smelling toxic fumes with one of the previously burned car reignited into flames. Firefighters, once again, were called on to extinguished the blaze.
Accident or arsonist, only the shadow knows. Escondido Fire investigators were continuing to contemplate the origins of the blazes today.