Updated at 6:25 p.m. June 17, 2015
Fire erupted in a two-story Yorba Linda home Wednesday, gutting much of the residence and causing ammunition stored in a garage to explode while firefighters worked to douse the blaze.
The owner of the home in the 17200 block of Chestnut Street was treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation, according to the Orange County Fire Authority.
The blaze started about 1:40 p.m., sending a thick plume of smoke into the air. About 90 firefighters from the county, Brea, Orange, Fullerton and Anaheim departments responded to the scene.
The owner, who is a “guitar enthusiast,” had about 200 guitars in the garage, many of which were damaged in the blaze, according to OCFA Capt. Steve Concialdi.
“Firefighters did save quite a few,” Concialdi said.
The owner also had a large collection of amplifiers in the garage, which he also used to store gunpowder and various caliber of weapons rounds, Concialdi said.
Firefighters had the blaze under control about 3 p.m., Concialdi said.
The ammunition made it tough to battle the blaze, Concialdi said.
The ammunition “is a hazard, but it’s not going to shoot off like a projectile from a gun,” Concialdi said. “It’s going to explode if exposed to extreme fire and heat. We couldn’t get as close because these explosions were going off, but the main fire was in the house.”
The fire caused about $1 million in damage to the house and its contents where the blaze originated, Concialdi said.
Firefighters kept a “safe distance” from the garage and deluged it with water to keep flames from spreading and destroying the guitar collection, Concialdi said.
Investigators believe the blaze started in the back yard and spread to the house.
“There was a lot of debris, combustible debris in the back yard,” Concialdi said.
Firefighters had to cut into the roof to get a flames in the attic of one of the neighboring homes. The roof caved in on the home where the fire started, Concialdi said.
There were also some “compressed gas tanks in the back yard,” Concialdi said.
Neighbor Greg Brooks said the owner of the home was working in his back yard when the fire broke out.
“He does woodworking, and one of his power tools or some electrical (equipment) must have started that,” Brooks told NBC4.
Other witnesses said there were propane tanks in the back yard, and some loud “booms” were heard after the blaze broke out. Other neighbors said gunpowder was also stored in the garage. The popping sound of exploding ammunition could be heard as the fire raged.
A bomb squad was called to the scene to remove materials from the garage, including the ammunition of various caliber.
Two neighboring homes suffered some external damage from the blaze, according to Concialdi.
— City News Service
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