Historical home burns in Mission Hills

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MISSION HILLS, Calif. – Fire destroyed a Mission Hills home Wednesday night, but behind the smoke and flames was a home with a lot of history.

“We saw the big column of smoke and the sparks,” said Jaye Macaskill.

Macaskill saw the fire from La Jolla and the next day, she was in front of the home at 2340 Fort Stockton surveying the damage.  A fire broke out just after 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night and gutted the home.

“It’s very sentimental for me,” said Macaskill.

Jaye, a historical preservationist told Fox 5 the home holds a wealth of history behind the burnt out walls.  She said the house belonged owners of a once famed burlesque theater in San Diego.

“The Johnston’s who owned the Hollywood Burlesque theater downtown,” said Macaskill.  “It was big house for entertaining, people like Jimmy Durante and many other Hollywood stars,”
While Macaskill took in the damage to the home, next door Judy Childs was breathing a sigh of relief.“it was…in a minute, engulfed the house,” said Judy Childs.

“There was a ball of fire,” said Childs.

The fire left several windows blown out and the entire south side of the Childs’ home is charred.

“We had significant damage,” said Childs.

It’s a lot to deal with on a Thanksgiving.  Despite the mess, Judy is still finding a way to keep the holidays happy.

“I did get my bird in the oven and nothing on this end was damaged.  That’s where our kitchen is so we’re ok,” said Childs.  “We’re just really lucky we didn’t lose our house,”

The cause is still under investigation, but firefighters have ruled out arson and called it completely accidental.

Damage to the home is estimated at $1 million, the Childs home sustained $135,000 in damage.

2 comments

  • Jodi

    FYI: The historic house referenced in this article was leveled prior to the fire. The house on the site that burned was brand new construction that was begun in about February.

  • Jaye MacAskill

    Yes, unfortunately Fox 5 left the part out about how the historic home had already been demolished and a the construction of a new house was already way — I made that clear to the reporter when I spoke to her but I'm not surprised the station left that important piece of information out. I guess even after they're long gone, historic houses are always more interesting than new houses!

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