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Fire damages abandoned apartment in Grant Hill, prompts arson investigation

Fire officials launched an arson investigation Sunday after a fire damaged an abandoned apartment building in Grant Hill, the third blaze on the property in less than a week, authorities said.

The fires have caused at least $470,000 in damage, said San Diego police Sgt. Rick Pechin of the Metro Arson Strike Team.

The property, located on K Street near 38th Street, has been frequented by squatters “for some time,” Pechin said.

The property includes a front house that was gutted in a fire early Saturday.

Around 11:45 a.m. Sunday, San Diego police officers were driving down an alley that borders the apartment building when they noticed smoke billowing from the two-story structure.

Pechin said the fire started in an upstairs unit and caused an estimated $120,000 in damage. No one was hurt.

The fire was the third in recent days. Few details were available about the first fire, which occurred Wednesday at the front house, which was boarded up.

The second fire started just after 4 a.m. Saturday. The blaze engulfed the house.

When firefighters arrived, no one was inside. The estimated damage from that blaze was $350,000.

Pechin declined to comment on the cause of the fires, citing the ongoing investigations. “However, we are treating these as arson,” he said.

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