Investigators suspect arson in hospital garage fire - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Investigators suspect arson in hospital garage fire

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Photo courtesy CBS News 8 viewer Jessica Messenger. Photo courtesy CBS News 8 viewer Jessica Messenger.

SAN DIEGO (CNS/CBS 8) - Fire investigators said Monday they suspect arson as the reason behind a parking garage fire at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital.

An unoccupied vehicle caught fire in a parking garage at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital Monday morning, setting two other autos ablaze and sending a burning stream of gasoline through part of the structure.

The non-injury blaze in the 3000 block of Health Center Drive in the Birdland district erupted for unknown reasons on the fourth level of the parkade shortly after 9:30 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Crews had the vehicle fires out within 10 minutes, but it took them about a half-hour to extinguish leaking fuel that ignited and re-ignited while flowing down the sloping parking lot toward and around other cars, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

The monetary losses -- including superficial damage to the building, as well as the destroyed Ford pickup truck, Honda sedan and Toyota SUV -- were expected to total at least $75,000.

Authorities did not say why they suspect arson, but said they were looking for a suspect.

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