Authorities Thursday identified a 36-year-old man who was fatally injured when a fire engulfed second-floor residential units above a Mission Beach ice cream shop, causing $600,000 in damage.
Aaron Porter was discovered inside a second-floor apartment as firefighters battled a blaze that broke out for unknown reasons about 6:50 a.m. Tuesday in a rooftop storage area on the mixed-use building in the 700 block of Ventura Place, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Porter was transported to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest for treatment of /burn injuries, the Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement. After being admitted, his condition steadily declined and he was pronounced dead at 6:38 p.m. Tuesday.
A city lifeguard at the nearby beach spotted the smoke and flames, ran over to the burning two-story building and knocked on residents’ doors, awakening them and telling them to evacuate, SDFRD spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.
It took firefighters about a half-hour to extinguish the flames.
A second person injured in the blaze suffered minor injuries and declined transport to a hospital, Munoz said.
The two businesses beneath the fire-gutted residences — a Dreyer’s Ice Cream shop and Kojack’s, a small restaurant — sustained water damage, Munoz said.
A city engineer was called in to assess the structural integrity of the building.
Investigators set the monetary losses at $500,000 to the building and $100,000 to contents.
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