Wind-Whipped Fire Burns Garage, Nearby Trees In Exposition Park

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The gusty winds whipped up a fire early Friday morning that started in a converted garage and was spread to several nearby buildings and palm trees in Exposition Park.

The Los Angeles Fire Department reports that the fire broke out at 2:09 a.m. in a garage at 1635 W. 39th Pl. and threatened as many as three nearby buildings as it spread to nearby debris and palm trees.

“I looked out my window and see all that fire and I started hollering to my neighbors, ‘get out, everybody get out,’” Erline Bridges said.

“I heard pop, pop, I opened up, and saw flames all the way around here,” Phillip Holloway told CBS2. Holloway.

LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey said it took 91 firefighters about 40 minutes to put out the fire. Crews battled the blaze in sustained winds of 20 to 25 miles per hour. In total, four garages, a few sheds and some cars burned.

“The fire came from the back, all to the front, the trees, even their house. It went over to their house,” a neighbor who identified herself as Tracy said. “The wind, it was terrible.”

The converted garage where the fire broke out is owned by Sonia Vinson, who told CBS2 she’s lived in the home for 20 years. She said she was sound asleep when the fire broke out. The man who resides in the garage was not home at the time because he is on a cruise, Vinson said.

“Thank God for these people right here, came beating on the door, this boy,” Vinson said.

She was referring to Franclin Bonilla and his brother, who went door-to-door alerting neighbors and then used garden hoses to fighting the.

“We put their house out, we put the car out, we put our house out, we were still hosing everything else, we put out so many fires,” Bonilla said.

No one was seriously burned, but one homeowner suffered a heart attack. His daughter told CBS2 she was waiting for an update on his condition.

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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