Fire engulfs garage of Hillcrest home

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — Authorities are investigating a fire that broke out in the detached garage of a home in Hillcrest early Tuesday morning. According to San Diego Fire-Rescue, calls reporting the fire first came into dispatchers around 3:22 a.m. in the 3700 block of 4th Avenue. Upon arrival to the scene, SDFD Battalion Chief Juan Flores said crews found the detached garage of a two-story single-family home fully engulfed in flames. The fire had also caused the roof to collapse. Arson investigation underway after cars in FOX 5 parking lot set on fire Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the garage, although some nearby electric poles were impacted. San Diego Gas & Electric crews were called to the scene to evaluate the equipment. No residents or SDFD personnel were injured in the incident. According to Flores, no one was inside the home when the flames broke out, as it appeared to have been in the midst of some type of remodel. The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time. The extent of the damage has not been determined.

Closure of San Diego’s ‘welcome center’ causes confusion for asylum seekers

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5) — More migrants have been passing through San Diego’s public transit for the last few days. Without a centrally-funded drop off, however, confusion has sent asylum seekers in all directions. The return to street releases come after San Diego’s migrant “welcoming center” closed last week after being open for only about four months. According to county officials, the center ran out of funding, forcing it to shutter. “The people that know how to handle these types of situations, how to help migrants how to get them on their way, need to be (at) the front,” said Robert Vivar with the Immigrants Rights Consortium. Vivar and his volunteer partners have funded buses to bring groups of migrants from the Iris station bus stop and to the Old Town Trolley Station, bridging the last 20 miles to a true national transit station — the airport. In a statement, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority said it is “sympathetic to the needs of migrants trying to secure travel arrangements to connect with friends and family in other parts of the country.” More than

Embattled Chula Vista councilmember’s seat officially declared vacant

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KUSI) — Andrea Cardenas’ district seat on the Chula Vista City Council was officially declared vacant Monday night, roughly a week after she stepped down amid multiple felony allegations related to fraud.  The council called a special meeting to begin appointing her replacement. Many Chula Vista residents spoke at the meeting, asking the council to ensure they don’t get fooled again. “Vetting of our candidates is most important. We need to avoid what happened the last time,” one speaker said. “Please do background checks,” added another woman at the podium. “One, it protects the city when they aren’t open or honest and then here comes things where they have felonies or misdemeanors and the news is covering it and then more attention is brought in a negative light to Chula Vista.” California governor Gavin Newsom facing another recall attempt The council has 45 days to put in a replacement. For the next two weeks, the city will take applications just like a job posting. On March 26, the council will nominate three candidates who will then be interviewed on April 9 and the appointment made

Arson investigation underway after cars in FOX 5 parking lot set on fire

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — Police are investigating for suspected arson after a man set several cars on fire at the FOX 5 station in Kearny Mesa Monday night. FOX 5’s security camera video captured the incident just after 9:30 p.m. in the 7100 block of Engineer Road. Part of the video can be viewed in the player above. A man was first seen attempting to start a fire at the front door of the FOX 5 building, using small bits of paper and a nearby planter. However, it was unsuccessful. He then moves to the parking gate where he used what appeared to be a blow torch to burn a keypad. Afterwards, he moves around to the front parking lot where he sets fire to three employees’ cars, destroying at least one. Solar energy company vehicles damaged by fire in Escondido Several FOX 5 employees ran outside with fire extinguishers to put out the flames before San Diego Fire-Department crews arrived. No one was injured. Police and arson investigators were called to the scene, where they remained for several hours. An investigation into the

Jealous ex-boyfriend killed beloved high school teacher, DA says at opening of murder trial

Prosecutors said the shooting murder of a Catholic high school teacher by his fiancé’s ex-boyfriend was carefully planned. SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Chilling surveillance footage captured the last moments Mario Fierro was alive. The teacher at Cathedral Catholic High School died after being shot six times in 2021 by his girlfriend’s ex-fiancee. The shooting in North Park, which was captured on multiple cameras with audio, was played in court on the first day of the murder trial for Jesse Alvarez, 33. After the first shot goes off, screaming is heard before several more gunshots are heard. “The defendant methodically plotted his execution and part of that planning was to surprise him with it,” prosecutor Ramona McCarthy told the jury in her opening statement. McCarthy pointed to Alvarez’s Google searches and internet history. “He started researching how to hire a hit man,” she said. His Google searches included “how to kill your ex’s fiancee,” “how to shoot someone in self defense” and “does a phone on airplane mode track GPS location.” Alvarez also read an article entitled ‘how to commit the perfect murder,’ signed up for

Residents form coalition after concern of homeless, crime in Little Italy and surrounding areas

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — The newly-formed San Diego Neighborhood Coalition hosted a community meeting Monday night, where local business owners and residents came together to discuss what they are calling the main issues plaguing Little Italy. “Homeless, crime, break-ins and thefts in cars,” said Kevin Arnold, Founder of San Diego Neighborhood Coalition. Arnold, a Little Italy resident for more than eight years, said he needed to do something about the homeless and crime plaguing the community, and created the coalition about four months ago to push local leaders for change. The community meeting at Our Lady of the Rosary was a packed house. “These are residents, these are homeowners, these are business owners, they have a stake in this community,” Arnold said. He said the coalition doesn’t just fight for change for Little Italy residents, but also for downtown, East Village, Hillcrest, North Park, etc. Representatives from the San Diego Housing Commission, San Diego Police Department, Little Italy and city and county leaders offices were in attendance. 4 adults, child rescued after vessel takes on water off San Diego coast “It’s not acceptable, we’re

4 adults, child rescued after vessel takes on water off San Diego coast

SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — Four adults and a child were rescued Saturday after the vessel they were on began to take on water during transit from San Clemente Island to Dana Point, U.S. Coast Guard officials said. Around 11 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard San Diego’s Joint Harbor Operations Center received a distress call from a 58-foot pleasure craft, Playhouse, reporting a shaft seal failure, according to authorities. The mechanical issue caused two feet of water to enter the engine room, but the crew of the vessel were able to halt the leak while alerting the Coast Guard. More than 1,500 migrants dropped off on San Diego streets, many waiting at airport The Coast Guard’s rescue team arrived on scene around 2:50 p.m. They were able to safely secure the Playhouse and bring it into Dana Point at around 6 p.m.