A fire and explosion, possibly caused by a ruptured gas line, damaged at least two homes early Thursday morning in an Oxnard neighborhood.
It was not immediately clear whether the fire started before or after the gas leak and explosion, according to Oxnard fire officials. Crews began their investigation after utility workers arrived to shut off the gas supply to a leaking line discovered by firefighters after the fire.
No injuries were reported, but at least eight people were displaced because of the damage. No one was inside the home in which the fire started.
A neighbor reported the fire early Thursday morning as crews just finished responding to a kitchen fire at at nearby residence. Several callers reported an explosion.
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"Crews looked up to the sky and saw a big plume of smoke," said Oxnard Battalion Chief Sergio Martinez. "It was a huge ball of fire."
Firefighters did not attempt an attack inside the burning buildings because of the possibility of a roof collapse, Martinez said. The fire was knocked down in about 20 minutes.
"They found there was a gas leak on the side of the house," Martinez said. "The gas was on fire and we couldn't shut it off."
The walls of the home appeared to "buckle out," indicating an explosion occurred inside the house as the force of the blast pushed out the walls.