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Driver found dead in burned car in Potrero was probably trying to save dog, officials say

Authorities responding to a report of a fire Thursday near Potrero found a body in a vehicle near where the blaze started.
Authorities responding to a report of a fire Thursday near Potrero found a body in a vehicle near where the three-acre brush fire started.
(Courtesy of Cal Fire San Diego)

A person found dead in the backseat of a burned car in Potrero this week was probably trying to save a pet dog from the flaming vehicle, authorities said Friday.

Both the unidentified victim and animal died Thursday in the car fire, which sparked a three-acre brush fire that briefly threatened homes in the area, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Ricardo Lopez.

The cause of the fire still under investigation Friday.

The brush fire was reported about 2:20 p.m., according to Lopez and Cal Fire San Diego spokesman Capt. Thomas Shoots. Fire crews were able to halt its spread by 3 p.m.

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Authorities believe the person who died was the vehicle’s driver, who got out of the burning auto and then went back to try to rescue the dog.

The county medical examiner’s Office will determine the cause and manner of death, Lopez said. The victim’s identity was not released.

Riggins writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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