ROSEMEAD (CBSLA.com) — Authorities continue to investigate the cause of a fire Tuesday at a large condominium complex in Rosemead.
As KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper reports, one firefighter sustained burns to his ears but was expected to be OK.
The fire at the building on N. Walnut Grove Avenue was reported just before 4 p.m. and prompted the evacuation of close to 40 nearby units, according to KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta.
“It’s kind of a panicky, surreal feeling. Stuff you see in the movies, not right next door,” said Kevin Foxx, a neighbor, who had a deputy knocking on his door, advising him to get out immediately.
Louise Hirabayashi lives in a unit near the apartment where the fire started and told Hopper she heard glass break, several explosions, and then saw flames coming toward her.
“I felt the ‘Boom.’ I thought it was like an earthquake but then I felt it again and I said, ‘It wasn’t shaking like an earthquake,’ ” Hirabayashi said.
She added: “That’s why I ran out. I called 911 because I saw flames coming out of the windows. I saw all of the glass that was on the walkway and I knew, ‘Oh gosh, I’ve got to get out of here.’ ”
Originally, investigators thought the explosions were pipe bombs but none were found.
An assistant chief with the Los Angeles County Fire Department told Peschiutta, when firefighters arrived at the complex, they found some items that raised concerns.
“The initial attack crews saw some, what may be, suspicious-type devices,” he said.
No further information was available.