Neighbor said home exploded wthout warning
A Ford City home erupted into flames Monday afternoon, destroying that house and damaging the one next door to it.
The fire blew out windows, sending a fireball into the front yard and across a driveway, one witness said.
The fire caused damage in excess of $80,000 and left a family of four homeless.
Leo Terry Sr. was sitting in the front yard of his house on the 300 block of Tyler Street. when the house next door exploded into flames without warning.
“I didn't se any smoke or anything. I've never seen anything like that excepted in the movies,” he said.
“I had just walked outside and sat down and blam! – just a big ball of fire just shot straight out of the front window. Then flames shot out all of the windows,” he said.
Terry said he called for his daughter and girlfriend to get out of the house as the heat from the burning home started igniting the side of his house.
Terry said a passer-by – possibly working for a pest control company, ran up to his house with a fire extinguisher and helped knock down the fire in his daughters bedroom.
He said the fire erupted without any warning.
Terry said a Spanish-speaking family of four – mother father and two children – live in the home.
The fire destroyed the home it broke out in and damaged a bedroom where Terry's 17-year-old daughter slept, destroying a window, drapes, bed and guitar along with other items.
Kern County Fire Department Battalion Chief Brent Moon said arson investigators were en route to help pin down the cause of the fire.
Moon said the heat and gases from the fire inside a closed-up home probably caused the windows to blow out and the radiant heat ignited Terry's home.
The 1400-square foot home were the fire broke out was about 30 percent involved in fire with flames and smoke coming from the front windows when the first firefighters arrived in scene and the fire was spreading rapidly.
A total of 14 Kern County firefighters responded to the scene.
Total damage is estimated at about $85,000 with a $75,000 save to Terry's home.