Two-alarm fire causes $200K in damage to Del Mar home


A two-alarm fire early Monday morning, Feb. 11, at a Del Mar home that a fire official said may have started in a fireplace caused about $200,000 in damage and displaced two residents.

Emergency crews arrived at the two-story home on 27th Street near Camino Del Mar shortly before 5 a.m. after residents were awakened by a smoke alarm and found smoke around a first-floor fireplace and inside the house, said Del Mar Battalion Chief Robert Ford.

Ford said the homeowners tried to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher before crews from San Diego, Del Mar and Solana Beach arrived.

Deputies helped to get the residents — a man in a wheelchair on the first floor, and a woman on the second floor — safely out of the home, sheriff’s Lt. Dave Perkins said.

“It took us a few minutes to get access,” Ford said. “There was so much fire, we had to work our way inside.”

Firefighters soon realized not only was the fire around the fireplace on the first floor but it was in the second-floor fireplace and into the attic as well.

That’s when officials called a second alarm, requesting firefighters from Encinitas and Rancho Santa Fe to assist. In all about 40 people worked on the blaze, Ford said. No injuries were reported.

“They got on the roof, did some ventilation, pulling some ceilings and walls,” he said. Much of the fire was snuffed out in the first half hour, the chief said, but it took longer for crews to locate fire “in hidden places” inside the home.

Neighbors in a house west of the blaze were briefly evacuated, but it mainly was hit with drift smoke and the fire did not spread, Ford said.

The fire was contained on the first floor within about a half hour and the second floor and attic were contained around 5:50 a.m., Ford said.

-- Karen Kucher is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune