Fire prompts evacuations at huge apartment complex

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SAN DIEGO —  Firefighters evacuated about 200 residents from a Point Loma apartment complex when fire broke out Tuesday afternoon.

The fire was reported shortly after 1:40 p.m. at the Pacific Isle Condominiums at 3050 Rue Dorleans.  Firefighters responded with 65 firefighters, at least 10 engines and six fire trucks.

Resident Nita DeRyan was poolside when she spotted smoke coming out of the third floor unit.

“I looked up the unit right behind me you could see the smoke,” said DeRyan. “I was concerned for the lady on the third floor. I was yelling at her ‘you should get out the fire right there, it’s right above you!’ That’s when she told me it was actually in her unit.”

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque said the fire was contained within the walls between the two floors, however it was quickly moving towards the roof. It was extinguished within 20 minutes.

Plumbers were soldering pipes in a bathroom when materials in the wall ignited, according to Luque.  The fire quickly spread through the walls from the third story unit to the floor above.

A total of two units were damaged and several more apartments suffered minor water damage.  Firefighters estimate damage at $150, 000.

The condominium complex is a four-story circular structure that surrounds an expansive interior area that includes a large swimming pool, tennis courts and landscaped grounds.

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