NOBLESVILLE, Ind. --
More than a dozen people were forced from their homes early Friday morning after a fire spread to four houses in Noblesville.
The blaze began just before midnight in the home of an elderly couple in the Meadows subdivision near State Road 37 and 191st Street, Noblesville Fire Department Division Chief Rick Russell told 6News' Julie Pursley.
When firefighters arrived, the couple's home was already engulfed by flames and the fire had spread to the roof of a neighboring home, Russell said. Two other nearby homes also sustained damaged to their siding.
Russell said that more than a dozen people living in the four homes all were able to get out safely before firefighters arrived.
"It felt like and earthquake at first, but we knew it was something really bad," said Natalie Bozzuto, whose house caught fire. "As soon as we got out, the entire sky was orange. It was completely orange. Embers were flying everywhere. It was scary."
Several people reported hearing an explosion shortly before the fire.
"We heard this large explosion. It totally rocked the neighborhood," said neighbor Larry Bultman.
Russell said that the elderly couple, who are in their 80s, had several tanks of oxygen stored in their garage, where the flames appeared to have originated.
"She was on home oxygen. She stored all of her cylinders and her compressor and other things in the garage. I think that was a contributing factor," he said.
Fire officials said they intended to begin their investigation after Friday morning's rain lets up.