Accused squatters displaced after early morning fire in National - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Accused squatters displaced after early morning fire in National City

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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (CNS) - Ten adults and three children suspected of squatting behind a Southcrest home were displaced today following a fire that swept through the yard and engulfed the tents they used for shelter.  

The blaze in the 4300 block of Keeler Street erupted shortly before 3 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. It took crews about a half-hour to subdue the flames.

Medics took one of the adults to a hospital for treatment of breathing problems stemming from smoke inhalation, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

The fire started in debris in the back yard and quickly burned down a fence. The flames then engulfed a motor home on the property before sweeping through the back of the condemned house on the property.

Most of those displaced by the fire lived in the backyard tents, according to SDPD Officer David Stafford. One woman may have lived in the house, a dispatcher said.

Investigators set the monetary losses at roughly $10,000, Luque said.

American Red Cross personnel declined to help the squatters with interim housing, since they had been on the property illegally, according to broadcast news accounts.

The precise cause of the fire is under investigation.

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