Hot barbecue sparks car fire, investigators say

SAN DIEGO — Arson investigators sent to probe a suspicious fire that scorched two cars Friday morning determined that a hot barbecue sparked the blaze outside the home in San Diego’s Bay Terraces neighborhood, authorities said.

The blaze was reported as a single-car fire about 6:15 a.m. on Duarte Place, a short dead-end street in the neighborhood south of Skyline Drive and east of Interstate 805, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Jose Ysea said. Fire crews arrived on scene and found two cars on fire and knocked down the flames in less than 10 minutes.

Investigators from the fire department’s Metro Arson Strike Team were dispatched to probe whether the fire was the result of arson, Ysea said. Instead, they discovered a barbecue still warm from previous use was moved too close to one of the cars Friday morning, sparking the flames that spread to both vehicles.

Footage from the scene showed both cars, parked close to each other in the driveway, were four-door sedans with heavy damage to the backends.