SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) - A fire broke out Wednesday morning at a duplex in Rancho Penasquitos, and responding firefighters confronted cluttered conditions in one of the homes in order to knock down the flames and search for residents, authorities said.
The blaze was reported a little before 4:40 a.m. in the 9000 block of High Park Lane, according to a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department incident log. High Park lane is a duplex-lined residential street just north of Ted Williams Parkway, just west of Carmel Mountain Road and south of Black Mountain Park.
Investigators have determined this is a "hoarder home" and have now deemed it a bio-hazard. The garage was stacked floor to ceiling with boxes, stacks of papers and other miscellaneous household items. Firefighters reported that the cluttered nature of the residence made it difficult to search for any potential victims and find the source of the flames.
Heavy smoke billowed from the attic and garage of the dwelling when firefighters first arrived, but they were able to control the flames in about 30 minutes.
Neighbors say because of the condition of the home, this is something they have been fearing for some time.
Authorities have turned this into a search and rescue because the man who lived in the house has not been seen since the fire.