Did budget cuts delay response to deadly Golden Hill fire? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Did budget cuts delay response to deadly Golden Hill fire?

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Some are questioning the safety of the fire department's rolling brownouts after the death of an elderly man inside his Golden Hill apartment, located just blocks from a closed fire station.

The two-alarm apartment fire broke out at about 8:30 a.m. in a mid-rise building in the 2200 block of Broadway. While battling the flames, fire crews cut holes in the roof to allow for ventilation.

The fire was extinguished within 20 minutes. Once inside, firefighters found the body of a 78-year-old man near a bathroom inside the apartment. His identity was withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.

The fire displaced 48 residents living at the 24-unit building. The American Red Cross was called in to help arrange for temporary shelter.

Firefighters tell News 8 that budget cuts delayed their response time to the fire. Recent budget cuts have forced local fire stations into "brown out" status, which means that fire stations rotate which ones are open at certain times.

When this Friday's fire started in Golden Hill, the closest fire station was closed.

Investigators are trying to determine if a space heater caused the blaze.

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