It took firefighters about an hour Thursday to subdue a blaze that erupted inside an abandoned building that served for four-plus decades as the headquarters of the El Cajon Police Department before devolving into a magnet for homeless people.
Flames began spreading through the interior of the boarded-up structure in the 100 block of Fletcher Parkway for unknown reasons about noon, according to Heartland Fire & Rescue.
A group of transients who were inside at the time were able to get out safely, Heartland spokesman Sonny Saghera said.
Firefighters, who extinguished the blaze from outside due to concerns about the structural integrity of the building, were able to confine the flames to a single room, Saghera said.
The 50-year-old building has had no tenant since 2011, when the police department moved to its current headquarters on Civic Center Way, according to city records. In recent years, it has become a place where the homeless seek shelter, the fire department spokesman said.
The cause of the non-injury blaze was under investigation.
–City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: