A fire in a burn barrel spread to at least three homes early Thursday when it was fanned by strong overnight winds in the San Bernardino County community of Bloomington.
Firefighters responded to the 10700 block of Tamarind Avenue for a report of a backyard on fire. Residents called to report a fire had spread to a nearby home, said the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
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Residents said a police officer banged on windows and doors to alert residents as flames reached doorsteps.
"All of the sudden, my step-dad got woken up by a loud banging on the door. When he opened it, the police officer was yelling," said resident Rovaun De Anda. "'Everybody needs to get out. Grab your pets, grab your children, your family. There’s a fire happening. Get out as quick as you can.’
“Thankfully, the firefighters did their job. They did an amazing job.”
Strong winds, with gusts of up to 50 mph, fueled the fire. It spread to two other homes and burned approximately two acres of brush before crews knocked the blaze down within 90 minutes, the fire department said.
Firefighters managed to keep the fire from spreading to more residences and focused on mop-up work to ensure the fire didn't cross containment lines.
More than 40 firefighters battled the blaze at the height of the fire.
The Red Cross was called to help displaced residents.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department said that investigators were able to track the cause and origin of the fire to a nearby burn barrel where a non-permitted fire was left unattended Winds sent embers to brush and homes.
No injuries were reported.
NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.