1 killed, 1 injured in Mira Mesa house fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

1 killed, 1 injured in Mira Mesa house fire

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Video still courtesy of Larry Alston via YouTube Video still courtesy of Larry Alston via YouTube

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) - One person was killed and another was injured in an early-morning fire in Mira Mesa on Sunday. 
 
Neighbors woke up around 4:15 a.m. to see a house fully engulfed in flames in the 10900 block of Westmore Circle. 

"As soon as he told me [it was a] fire I got him, my 5-year-old twin boys and my wife outside and across the street," said neighbor Joshua Freitas. "I came out with my fire extinguisher hoping it was a small fire and unfortunately the flames were 20 to 30 feet up in the air."  

Firefighters arrived minutes later, but the house was a total loss. 

"We decided we had to go defensive so we put protection lines around the structure to save the neighbors' homes and extinguished the fire from the outside," said San Diego Fire-Rescue Captain Erik Windsor.  

Firefighters say five people lived in the home. 

Three escaped without injuries, one was transported to the hospital and the fifth was found dead inside. 

"It's a home that's well-known to us," said Capt. Windsor. "The house has been - for lack of a better term - a hoarder house, [with] a lot of odd activity at all hours of the evening." 

The name of the deceased was not released until the medical examiner can confirm their identity. 

Neighbors say they think it was the owner of the home who they accuse of frequently causing problems in the community. 

"For the last 2 to 3 years we've been dealing with the issue of him having drug dealers and drug users coming in and out of his house," said Freitas. "Vagrants coming in and out. I've had some altercations with the dealers. Trying to keep them out of the neighborhood."  

Firefighters say the front door and several windows of the home were boarded closed. 

Inside, many large rooms were subdivided and filled with items, making it tough to sweep through. 

So far, the cause of the fire remains unknown. 

"It's just a horrible thing to have happen, but now we're hoping at least the city can come in, clean up the house and maybe we can get a new start with this and families can recover from this and move on," said Freitas.  

Several videos of the fire were posted to YouTube by a user identified as Larry Alston. 

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