Fire breaks out in vacant school lot

Fire breaks out in vacant school lot
It took four fire engines about 30 minutes to extinguish a fire in a vacant La Costa Valley lot slated for a middle school. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

CARLSBAD — Firefighters took about a half hour to extinguish a July Fourth blaze in a vacant La Costa Valley lot owned by San Dieguito Union High School District. 

Two engines each from Carlsbad and Encinitas responded to a 3 p.m. 911 call. By 3:35 p.m., the fire was out, leaving less than 2 acres charred.

One engine pumping water doused the flames from the perimeter. Neighbors from a nearby housing development flocked to adjacent cul-de-sacs.

Homeowners had garden hoses out before fire crews arrived but they weren’t needed. It appeared homes and a nearby church were not in imminent danger despite gusty winds and heavy smoke.

According to a spokeswoman for the Carlsbad Fire Department, the cause is undetermined. But nearby homeowners said they heard a loud boom, similar to an M-80 firecracker, and then saw smoke coming into their cul-de-sac just east of the 22-acre site on Calle Barcelona.

The lot is slated for a middle school if and when enrollment figures warrant the facility.

Meanwhile, the school district plans to begin construction this fall on sports fields and a multipurpose building that will take about 16 months to complete.

Junior varsity teams from La Costa Canyon High School will probably begin using the fields for practice in the spring of 2015, district officials said.

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