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On the evening of March 8, a fire broke out in an older home in the 1000 block of Regal Road, behind the Carl’s Jr. off of I-5 at Santa Fe Drive. It quickly became deadly.

The fire summoned units from Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, and Vista. Twenty-nine fire and paramedic personnel arrived at the single-story house fire, which was reported at around 7:30 p.m.

When the first units arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters learned that there were two occupants in the home, one wheelchair-bound. Deputy chief Scott Henry of the Encinitas Fire Department said, “We did everything we could to get to them.” The fire was too intense.

When I arrived at 8:30 p.m., the fire was mostly out, but a large expanse of white smoke continued to fill the neighborhood to the east. I did see flames on a large storage shed; firefighters were inside the building, spraying water outward and throwing furniture over the property’s brick wall, onto the Carl’s Jr. parking lot.

Firefighters somehow prevented the flames from igniting the numerous mature trees that surrounded the home and hung over the roof. If the trees had gone up, the fire would have easily spread to other homes. It wasn’t until 2:30 a.m. that firefighters felt assured that all the embers had been extinguished.

On the morning of March 9, about 15 family members and friends of the deceased gathered at the Carl’s Jr. parking lot to see the destruction and remember their loved ones: Nick Rodriguez and the home’s owner, Edna Lambert. Both residents were in their 80s. Mrs. Lambert had owned the home since the early 1960s.

Click here to see video of the fire department’s response.

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