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Police Charge Resident In Dillon Fire
More photos below.
LA MESA -- The fire that destroyed a house on Dillon Drive was caused by a resident whose cigarette ignited the yard and quickly spread to the house, police said Friday night.
Police arrested Jackson Pavlicek , 31, of La Mesa and charged him with reckless burning of property.
Police said La Mesa police investigators were able to quickly move onto the scene after the fire was extinguished and contacted the residents of the house who had escaped the flames but were found nearby.
Police said Pavlicek extinguished a cigarette in the backyard, which caused the dry brush to catch fire. The fire quickly spred to the house and caused minor burning damage to another home as well as trees and fences behind the house and in neighboring properties.
No one was injured in the fire. The suspect was booked into the County Jail.
EARLIER FIRE STORY, PHOTOS AND VIDEO BELOW:
Fire Destroys Home On Dillon Drive
La Mesa Police and San Diego Sheriff's Department units are assisting the Fire Department with a large fire on Dillon Drive. Embers driven by the wind have ignited palm trees south and east of the fire. Fire units spread hose lines both north and south of the fire scene to knock down small fires that have spread as other firefighters continued to fight the main blaze.
On a drier, windier day, this fire had great potential to spread rapidly throughout this neighborhood. An area of small yards, blocked throughout by fences and rocky obstacles, firefighters were at times using chairs to climb over sharp-topped fences (see video below) to get to areas where they could reach blazing palm trees.
Neighbors on the Shirley Drive side of the fire were watching the blaze from a distance when they suddenly realized flames were jetting out of their untrimmed King Palms. Luckily, when they screamed for firefighters, the crews were already in route to watch for spreading embers.
Fire officials later said the fire destroyed 9147 Dillon and fire investigators were still on the scene this evening trying to determine a cause. No dollar amount of damage was yet determined, but homes in that neighborhood generally can cost generally between $300,000 and $500,000.
Because of spreading embers, the fire eventually attracted firefighting units from Lemon Grove, El Cajon and La Mesa as it was raised to a two-alarm fire.