Four-Alarm Blaze Razes Construction Site in Escondido, California

A four-alarm fire gutted at least four buildings Thursday in a condominium complex under construction in this north San Diego suburb.

No injuries were reported in the blaze, said Escondido Fire Department spokeswoman Carol Rea.

The fire started just before 2 p.m. and sent billowing clouds of thick black smoke into the clear blue sky as it raced through the wooden framework of the condos.

Embers from the fire spread the blaze to several shops and a Chinese restaurant in an adjacent strip mall. Rea said fire crews were putting out smaller fires as they appeared.

The immediate area around the construction project was evacuated and major streets shut down.

The cause of the fire was not known, Rea said.