By CBSLA Staff

SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) – Six people were hospitalized on Wednesday morning following a two-alarm fire in San Bernardino that ripped through both a U-Haul business and a home.

Tangled metal, torched trees and torn open homes were left behind after an SUV crashed into two propane tanks at a U-Haul business, causing an explosion.

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Dec. 9, 2020. (San Bernardino County Fire Department)

The fire broke out before 9:45 a.m. in the 1200 block of Garden Drive, off Baseline Street.

San Bernardino County Fire Department crews arrived on scene to find both a home and an adjacent U-Haul storage facility on fire.


Firefighters brought the blaze under control just before 11 a.m. as crews worked to clear the burned debris.

It’s unclear exactly where and how the fire started.

“The gas, it just traveled and caught ignition,” said homeowner Jose Mendoza. “Then I saw smoke and flames coming in through the side of the window and my mom and nieces were sitting there.”

The impact was so strong that it blasted the hood open and tore the bumper off Mendoza’s car, throwing it into his front yard and catching his house on fire. He quickly got his family to safety.

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“I actually thought we were at a terrorist attack or war. That’s what it felt like seeing that lady running down the street on fire,” said witness Jamelle Jones. “I couldn’t even look anymore, I was just crying and throwing up.”

Jones said it was a grandmother who caught fire while standing outside the apartment building during the explosion. She was one of the four people burned, and six people injured, including the driver of the SUV and a passenger.

San Bernardino Police said it’s unclear what happened to cause the crash and subsequent explosion.

“I don’t have any information as to whether this was intentional or just an accident,” said Sgt. John Echevarria.

Officials say they’re investigating whether or not intoxication, speed and reckless driving played a role in the crash.

“I’m just glad we’re okay, that my mom and nieces were able to get out,” Mendoza said.

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As neighbors try to make sense of the life-altering consequences of this horrible crash, they’re praying for the innocent people who were hurt.