Fire fuels safety worries at Daly City apartments

A midnight fire at the Westlake Village Apartments — the scene of previous suspicious activity — prompted more concerns from residents about their safety.

At 12:17 a.m. Tuesday, Daly City Police and Fire responded to reports of a possible fire at 75 Poncetta Drive ina parking garage below a Westlake Village building, according to police.

Daly City firefighters quickly put out the small fire, which started in a recycling bin. No one was injured, Lt. Matt Bushong said.

There have been several trash fires at the site since July, and a car was set on fire in the same garage last February. During this spate of activity, residents said tires have been slashed on a number of cars. Recently, cars have been vandalized with spray paint, one resident said.

Marcel Lee, 30, has lived at 75 Poncetta Drive for five years and rents an apartment with his wife. He said he and his wife feel unsafe because of an “inadequate” response from management. He also called the 24-hour security guard presence “laughable.”

“I think everyone’s pretty fed up, and everyone’s talking about moving out,” Lee said. “It’s going to take something drastic for action to occur.”

After the February car fire, building management asked residents to be aware of their surroundings and keep alert of suspicious activity near the buildings behind the Boulevard Café, just off John Daly Boulevard.

The entire Westlake Village apartment complex occupies 47 acres and has nearly 3,000 apartments, but the suspicious activity appears to be relegated to the buildings directly behind the Boulevard Café.

William Choutka, the general manager of Westlake Village, could not be reached for comment.

Daly City Fire spokeswoman Angelina Ciucci said due to a history of small trash fires at the building and throughout the city, the incident was referred to the police department for investigation.

Bushong said there was no evidence of arson or an incendiary device that caused the fire. He added that residents said they did not see anything suspicious and that sometimes tenants flip their cigarettes into the trash cans.

dsmith@examiner.com

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