A house in the most western part of city near Red Rock Canyon was completely destroyed by fire early Thursday morning. The family of four was able to escape without injury; a pet dog and cat were unaccounted for. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The American Red Cross is assisting the family until their insurance company can make arrangement later today.
Firefighters were called to the San Marcos subdivision near the 215 highway and Alta Drive at 12:27AM after several calls were received that a house had exploded and was on fire. When firefighters arrived at 444 Crocus Hill Street, they found a large 2-story wood frame/stucco house heavily involved with fire throughout the house. Within thirty minutes the interior of the house was caving in from the intense fire. Inside the garage were two cars, which were also fully involved. It took firefighters about 45 minutes to bring the fire under control.
The owner of the home told fire investigators he was asleep along with his wife and two young boys when he heard an explosion. The burglar alarm then activated and he thought someone had broken into the house. When he went downstairs to investigate, he opened the door to the garage and found one wall inside the garage on fire. He closed the door and went outside to get a garden hose. At that time neighbors who were also looking for the garden hose met him. The garage door was gone, so they started to spray water into the garage. But he said the interior of the home became involved, so he made sure his family was evacuated. Within minutes he said the rest of the interior of the home was engulfed with flames.
The garage door was found across the street in a neighbor's yard against their house. The door had taken down a portion of an iron fence in the process. Inside the garage were two cars, one brand new, and a motorcycle, which were all, destroyed along with the entire house and all its belongings. Damage was estimated at $600,000.
A neighbor told investigators she was looking out the window of her home across the street when she noticed the garage door blew off into a house across the street in a violent explosion. She said the force knocked her to the floor. She said after the door blew off, a tremendous fireball rolled out of the garage and then a fire. She described the force as tremendous.
After firefighters arrived on scene, they fought the fire from the exterior. Large fire streams and a ladder truck sprayed tremendous amounts of water on the burning home to prevent it from spreading to neighboring homes and to bring the fire under control. From the beginning the house appeared unstable with outside walls leaning out from the house and the interior ceilings and part of the roof caving in indicating a dangerous situation.
Fire investigators have not been able to enter the building to determine a cause because of the unstable and dangerous conditions. They planned to return during the day to continue their investigation.
Indications are the fire started in the garage, but there is no speculation at this time as to the cause.
Everything in the house, as well as the house and vehicles were destroyed by the fire.
There were no injuries in connection with the incident.
Firefighters were expected to remain on scene for several more hours pouring water on the house to douse any remaining hot spots.