Transformer Explodes at Santa Monica Apartment Building

Witnesses reported seeing fireballs and hearing a "loud pop"

Dozens of Santa Monica residents were unable to enter their home Friday morning after a transformer explosion damaged a Santa Monica apartment complex  and left one person injured Thursday night, police said.

The apartment building in the 800 block of Ocean Boulevard erupted into flames around 10:45 p.m. after a transformer blew, according to the Santa Monica Police Department. The blaze was knocked down just before 11:30 p.m.

The top floor of the apartment complex was red tagged and residents were not able to enter their home as of 5 a.m. Friday as crews worked to clean up fire, smoke and water damage.

A witness reported hearing a loud pop and seeing fireballs when the fire broke out.

"I thought a bomb went off," witness Alicia told NBC4. "The fire plumes were huge. It's smoking like crazy."

One woman suffered smoke inhalation. At least four apartments were damaged, police said.

Earlier reports suggested the explosion was at the Oceana Beach Club Hotel, but police later clarified the apartment building was near the hotel.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

NBC4's Jack Noyes, Pablo Kay and Kate Larsen contributed to this report.

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