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Fire burns home of Fletcher, Gonzalez in City Heights

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department’s arson team is investigating a house fire that partially damaged the home of San Diego County Board of Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. KPBS reporter Alexandra Rangel has more.

County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and his wife, former Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, escaped injury Wednesday when a "suspicious" predawn fire erupted at their City Heights home.

"Our family is safe, and for us, that is all that matters," Fletcher said in a statement Wednesday morning. "We are grateful for the quick response of the San Diego (fire and police departments)."

Fletcher said he and Gonzalez were awoken at about 4 a.m. by their smoke alarms.


"The front of our house was engulfed in flames, but we were able to safely evacuate out another door," he stated.

Firefighters were able to keep the blaze, which is believed to have started in an outdoor trash can, from reaching the interior of the residence, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The multi-agency San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team was called in to investigate the possible arson fire.

"It is very early in the investigation," San Diego Police Department public-affairs Lt. Adam Sharki said Wednesday afternoon. "MAST is in the process of collecting evidence and locating witnesses. (The) fire is being treated as suspicious in nature."

Sharki did not disclose what led investigators to suspect that the blaze -- which damaged a parked car along with the facade of the home, causing an estimated $36,000 worth of monetary losses -- might have involved criminal activity.


Fletcher made mention of his fiery family emergency hours later at the start of a Board of Supervisors meeting.

"I want to thank everyone for their thoughts," he said. "My family is safe. We are all in a good position. At the end of the day, all that matters is a person's family. In any event, let's do our work for today."

Fletcher was recently re-appointed chairman of the regional panel. Gonzalez, his wife of five years, left the Assembly this month to take a leadership post with the California Labor Federation.

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