Public Safety Complex captures fire on Del Mar’s West Campus

fireCayce Berryman/Foghorn

The damage left behind from the flames at the Public Safety Complex out on Del Mar College West Campus. Emergency responders responded to the call at 4:17 a.m.

As flames spewed from within the Public Safety Complex on West Campus, Charles Miller was jolted awake by a phone call. He immediately took action.

“I called everybody I could,” said Miller, Del Mar College’s superintendent of physical facilities.

The Fire Department was already on the way after being alerted by an alarm at 4:17 a.m. March 30. Firefighters were unable to go inside because they were unsure about the structural integrity of the building, so they cut holes in the walls and doused the flames with water.

Capt. Mike Tressider, one of the investigators on the case, said insulation was still smoldering.

“(The fire) heated the tresses and it pushed the wall out,” he said.

A structural engineer arrived at the building at approximately 10:15 a.m. and declared the building structurally sound but in need of roof repairs.

The investigators said the fire did not appear intentional.

Chuck McKinney, interim dean of Business Industrial Public Safety Education, took it in stride.

“If we lost equipment, we’ll have to replace it. … We’ll adapt,” he said.

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