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Firefighters extinguish burning vehicle at Moonlight Beach


ENCINITAS — Local first responders worked quickly to help extinguish a burning vehicle this morning near Moonlight Beach in Encinitas.

At approximately 9:04 a.m., emergency dispatch received several reports of a yellow Ford Focus on fire in the upper parking area above the Marine Safety Center at Moonlight Beach.

Firefighters from nearby Fire Station No. 1 responded quickly to the blaze, suppressing the fire and preventing further spread of the flames. Lifeguards promptly radioed from the tower asking residents to move their vehicles and evacuate the area immediately.

No one was injured in the blaze and no other vehicles were destroyed.

“It was a pretty good collaborative effort,” Capt. Larry Giles told The Coast News. “A lot of times, if a car catches fire in a parking lot, it usually catches multiple cars on fire. (A burning car) produces so much ambient heat that it catches the neighboring car. But Engine No. 231 got in there really quick.”

According to Giles, the owner of the vehicle told San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies he accidentally left a lit cigarette in the car before heading on a beach walk. However, despite contacting the Sheriff’s Department, The Coast News could not officially confirm the fire’s origins.

Giles said a wastewater response team was sent to clean up any remaining flame retardant foam, water and fire waste to prevent chemicals and particulates from draining into nearby Cottonwood Creek and into the ocean.

Photo by Jim Babwe
Photo by Jim Babwe