Effort to douse house fire erodes Encinitas cliff

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ENCINITAS, Calif. -- Fire officials say bluffs behind a home that caught fire late Sunday night in Encinitas experienced erosion as rain and water from the fire hoses saturated the ground around the property.

The fire was reported around 10:50 p.m. Sunday at the house on Neptune Avenue, near Jupiter Street. It started on the roof but soon spread to the whole house. A woman inside was able to get out unharmed, but fire officials said her dog was still missing Monday morning.

A lingering concern Monday were the bluffs on the back side of the house.

"We've had rain and we've had fire suppression efforts," said Encinitas Fire Chief Robert Ford. "There is a little bit of movement back there but we've had our geotechnical engineer and our building folks out here and soils engineers and they've all assessed it."

Neighbors told FOX 5 the bluffs are a constant concern for them.

"You build here and you live at your own risk," said neighbor Shawn Williams. "Everybody's concerned about that. That's why everybody's trying to put a seawall up and they try to support their properties. God forbid someday this could be the oceanfront right here."

Fire officials said the homeowners adjacent to the damaged property will need to get their own properties checked in light of the cliff erosion.

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