Massive Mount Soledad house fire caused by natural gas explosion - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Massive Mount Soledad house fire caused by natural gas explosion

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A natural gas explosion at a Pacific Beach home caused a massive house fire that sent flames leaping into the sky over a Pacific Beach neighborhood and lighting up the night, offiicials said Wednesday.

The flames and pillar of smoke could be seen for miles after the home, located in the 5600 block of Soledad Road, burst into flames Tuesday night. Firefighters said the fire started in the garage and there was evidence of a possible explosion.

Neighbors say the explosion sounded like a "sonic boom" as it rocked the neighborhood.

A man who was renting the home and was inside at the time of the explosion was able to get out safely.

The home was fully-engulfed for about 20 minutes, and even spread to a neighboring house, before fire crews were able to douse the flames. Neighbors were forced to evacuate after the fire broke out.

One neighbor said he turned on all his sprinklers while his wife grabbed important documents because they were afraid their home would also catch fire. They said embers and ashes were falling on their roof and in their yard.

Investigators determined the fire was caused by a natural gas explosion near a water heater at the home, fire officials said. Damage is estimated at $300,000 to the home, and $50,000 to its contents. Two adjacent homes also sustained about $100,000 in damages.

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