Fire at Pacific Beach condo complex causes $870,000 in damage; four residents displaced

A fire engine from Fire Station No. 21 in Pacific Beach.
(Milan Kovacevic)

San Diego Fire-Rescue crews worked for about 45 minutes to get the fire under control


Flames erupted Wednesday night at a condominium complex in Pacific Beach, sending smoke billowing into the air as fire crews worked for about 45 minutes to knock down the blaze, authorities said.

The fire caused $870,000 in damage, including $720,000 in damage to the complex, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Four adult residents and three pets were displaced, but no injuries were reported, according to the department.

The fire was reported about 9:25 p.m. at one of the buildings that makes up The Plaza condo complex on Diamond Street between Lamont and Jewell streets, Battalion Chief David Pilkerton said. It was first reported as an electric fireplace that was smoking, and fire crews arrived to find smoke coming from the roof of the three-story complex.

Firefighters entered the building and found light smoke on the third floor, then discovered “hidden fire” behind the walls of the building between the second and third floors, Pilkerton said. The crews called for additional resources — a second alarm — and knocked down the flames by 10:15 p.m.

Pilkerton said personnel from the local chapter of the American Red Cross were at the scene assisting those who were displaced.

About 60 firefighters and a dozen other emergency responders were at the scene Wednesday night, Pilkerton said. The Fire-Rescue Department said four trucks, eight engines and several other firefighting vehicles responded.

Crews were continuing to work at the scene late Wednesday ensuring that no more hidden flames continued burning behind walls, Pilkerton said. He said firefighters would likely remain at the scene until at least midnight.


11:14 a.m. March 31, 2022: This story was updated with additional information.