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SAN DIEGO – A small brush fire threw off thick white plumes of smoke and flames Monday afternoon in City Heights, coming within about 50 feet of a home in the area.

The fire was reported just after 4:50 p.m. in the area of Sycamore Drive and Violet Street, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Crews worked quickly to contain the blaze, which began as a 10×10 spot fire before being upgraded, to about a quarter of an acre.

Neighbor Daniel Garcia spotted the smoke as the fire broke out.

“I look over there and we see all the smoke coming up,” Garcia said, “and so, of course, by that time our neighbors are out and looking around and thinking, ‘Oh my goodness.’ And then fire trucks, two fire trucks, three fire trucks and it’s like, ‘Oh man.’ It gets a little scary.”

Firefighters remained in the area for more than an hour to mop up after getting it under control. Ultimately, no homes were damaged as a result of the fire.

It is not yet known how it started, but officials are encouraging the public to be aware of recent dry conditions.

“It is summer and it is dry,” San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief David Allen said. “Things are dry and could easily catch fire. Just (want to) remind the public to be vigilant.”