The blaze began around 3 p.m. when neighbors said they heard a loud bang and then saw two houses soon engulfed in flames. Those flames quickly spread to a third house. No one was inside the homes but a few cats and a few dogs died in one house.
"It was like dominoes and our house was next," said Farrah Qura, who lives two doors down from the house that first caught on fire at 8355 Tillett Loop.
Witnesses describe flames that reached 50 feet high and were 20 feet wide. The fire was so powerful that it carried embers nearly 350 yards away.
Many neighbors spent all evening running sprinklers for fear the embers could catch fire. One family experienced a small bush fire in their front yard around 9pm, even after they watered their lawn for four hours. Columbia Gas and Electric crews banged on their doors to tell them to evacuate and then extinguished the fire.
For Jagmohan Singh, it's a devastating blow since he just moved into his new house five months ago with his wife, son, daughter and daughter-in-law. Singh's wife was among a handful of people who took themselves to the hospital for smoke-inhalation.
"I don't know what we're going to do. We just had a housewarming party on Saturday," he said.
Republished with permission of WUSA-TV.