Hoarder house fire
Firefighters at the home in National City. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A person was hospitalized Thursday after a fire ignited in a National City townhouse.

The fire was reported around 2:40 p.m. Wednesday on East Eight Street near Highland Avenue, according to the National City Fire Department.

The cause was a space heater, which ignited some nearby materials in a bedroom of one of the housing units, said Robert Hernandez, NCFD marshal and battalion chief.

As the fire started, an elderly man in the bedroom woke up and attempted to extinguish it, Hernandez said. “He got very lucky,” he said, referring to the man being alerted about the blaze.

Hernandez said the man, who was alone in the unit at the time, suffered smoke inhalation. His condition was unavailable. There were no other injuries.

The blaze did not affect any other of the connected town homes. Hernandez said an earlier description of the unit by authorities as a “hoarder house,” wasn’t appropriate.

Nine people were displaced, Hernandez said, adding that the local Red Cross chapter was helping a family of four, while other residents were staying elsewhere.

Structural damages were estimated at $50,000. The city Building Department is working with the housing complex’s owner on finding a contractor to handle gas line and electrical inspection, Hernandez said.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. Dec. 22, 2022

–City News Service


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Ellen Bullock