Two dead, two injured after two-alarm fire at La Jolla home

The bodies of two people were discovered inside a La Jolla home that caught fire early Aug. 10.
(John Gastaldo)

Two residents were found dead after a two-alarm fire ripped through a La Jolla home early Aug. 10, authorities said. Two others suffered minor injuries.

Fire officials would not disclose details about the victims, though they said all the occupants of the home are believed to be family members. Officials said the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

The fire was reported at about 3:45 a.m. at a two-story house in the 2500 block of Caminito La Paz, a dead-end street off Hidden Valley Road south of La Jolla Parkway, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Crews arrived to find the home fully engulfed in flames, and a second-alarm response was requested shortly after 4 a.m. Nearby homes were evacuated as crews battled the blaze.

Because the building was collapsing as the fire burned, firefighters fought the blaze from outside the home and used aerial ladders to send water onto the top of the house, the Fire-Rescue Department said.

Firefighters knocked down the blaze at around 5:05 a.m., but crews remained on the scene through the morning for overhaul, department spokesman Alec Phillipp said.

Fire destroyed a home in the 2500 block of Caminito La Paz in La Jolla on Aug. 10. Two bodies were found inside.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Hours later, firefighters searched the damaged home and discovered two bodies inside, Phillipp said.

Two other residents were taken earlier to UC San Diego Medical Center – Hillcrest for treatment of minor injuries, Phillipp said.

A neighbor on Caminito La Paz who declined to give her name said “the fire department rang our doorbell at 3:50 this morning to let us know there was a fire. When we came out, the house was pretty much engulfed in flames already.”

She said the house immediately to the left of the home was evacuated.

“We had kids sleeping in the house, but we did not wake them,” the neighbor said. “My husband and I were outside watching because the embers were flying in every single direction. We were keeping an eye to make sure that at any moment we didn’t need to wake our kids up and [evacuate].”

She commended the firefighters for their quick response. “These guys have been unreal; there were about a hundred firefighters on the scene instantaneously, there were about 10 of these engines, paramedics, police — you name it.”

The Fire-Rescue Department said 11 engines and a total of 101 personnel were assigned to the fire.

Pat Nissan, who lives next door to the house that burned, said she heard noise and activity from the house throughout the early morning. That’s why she was awake around the time the blaze erupted and was one of the neighbors who called 911.

She described a long, surreal morning wondering exactly what happened inside her neighbor’s home and fearing that the flames could spread.

La Jolla Light staff writer Ashley Mackin-Solomon and The San Diego Union-Tribune contributed to this report.