SIGNAL HILL — A fire destroyed a two-story home in Signal Hill Wednesday, but the residents were out of town at the time and no one was injured, authorities said. | PHOTOS
Los Angeles County Fire Battalion Chief Ken Wiles said the blaze was reported at about 12:30 p.m. at a single-family home on Hill Street near the corner of Gaviota Avenue.
Firefighters at the scene were met with a wall of fire as flames lapped up the walls of the home into the attic, he said.
"At first they couldn't get past the front porch because of the extreme heat and fire," Wiles said.
Five fire engines responded
The homeowners, who neighbors identified as a retired couple, are on vacation in Lake Havasu, Ariz., Wiles said, adding that the couple's adult daughter was watching the home for her parents but was not home at the time of the fire.
"Thankfully nobody was injured," he said.
Firefighters remained on the scene Wednesday afternoon monitoring hot spots. The inside walls and floors of the home were blackened, and occasional spots of smoke still crept from the ashes.
Witnesses reported smells of smoke and walls of flames leaping from the windows and roof.
"I smelled smoke
At one point, a power line fell, popping and crackling on the ground, neighbors said.
"The firefighters busted through the roof and then that's really when the flames took off, they were really coming out of the roof," said neighbor John Simpson.
Wiles said investigators were working to determine the cause of the blaze.