LA MESA, Calif. – Investigators were trying to determine what sparked a fire that gutted a mobile home Wednesday morning while the man who lived there was out.
The blaze in a double-wide trailer in the 7400 block of Oakland Road near Kiowa Drive was reported shortly before 9:30 a.m., according to Heartland Fire & Rescue.
Video shot by neighbors showed roaring flames and thick black smoke coming from the trailer. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby mobile homes.
"The flames were shooting up above the, they were just running up the telephone pole!" said John Hamilton, another neighbor.
Hamilton was one of the first to spot the fire and started warning everyone.
"Just started yelling, fire, fire ,fire to all the residents," said Hamilton.
Hamilton watched as the fast moving fire consumed the home in minutes even burning power lines overhead.
"The power lines did drop which caused us to change our tactics on how we attacked the fire," said Deputy Chief Greg McAlpine. Heartland Fire. "We taped off the area kept everyone away until we got SDG&E here to secure the power for us."
The fire threatened neighbors and even the elementary school right next door.
"The homes are relatively close together, so one of our priorities is to make sure the fire doesn’t spread," said McAlpine.
Trash and debris piled around the home also helped to fuel the flames.
"He stores gas tanks in there. Readers, magazines, that's all that's in there," said Isabella Thomas.
Thomas, who lives across the way said the homeowner is a hoarder.
"We knew that it would happen eventually, that’s why I reported it," said Thomas.
"He's had a lot over the years accumulated and so it’s been very difficult," said Hamilton.
Hamilton who didn't want to identify the man said he is a friend and a good person.
"He was a librarian, very nice guy. He’ll be devastated when he comes back and sees his trailer in rubble. it’s very sad."
No one was injured. Damage is estimated at $50,000.