Apartments, businesses damaged in 3-alarm fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Apartments, businesses damaged in 3-alarm fire

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - About 20 people found themselves displaced and one was receiving treatment for smoke inhalation after a three-alarm fire caused an estimated $700,000 damage to a building housing apartments and retail establishments in downtown San Diego, authorities said Tuesday.

The fire broke out in a commercial building topped by two floors of apartments at 831 Broadway, near Ninth Street, around 10:40 p.m. Monday, Lee Swanson of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said.

More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze, declaring a knockdown at 11:25 p.m., Swanson said, adding that some apartments were damaged by the fire.

Someone's pet dog died in the blaze but an ailing pet cat was rescued and revived by firefighters with a pet oxygen mask, Swanson said.

The building contained a tattoo shop, beauty salon, small church and businesses on the first floor and seven apartment units on the second floor. 

A tattoo artist grabbed a fire extinguisher and rushed into action.

"We kicked in the door and used my iPhone light and decided to go in and we went in thinking D was in. He was like get out, get out," said the tattoo artist.

Firefighters say at least two apartment units are a total loss and there is heavy fire, smoke and water damage to the rest of the building.

Families in a neighboring building were evacuated but firefighters say their units were not damaged and were allowed back in their homes.

Damage was estimated at $600,000 to the structure and $100,000 to its contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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