Nobody sustained any injuries after flames swallowed two San Bernardino homes about a mile of each other in the early hours of Saturday, officials said.
Firefighters first responded to a report of a vegetation fire in the 4100 block of North Fourth Avenue just before 2 a.m., said Josh Sprague, battalion chief with the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
That blaze turned out to be at an abandoned home that still had electricity, Sprague told KTLA. Witness accounts and the condition inside the property led the Fire Department to believe squatters might have been staying there, but no injuries were reported.
As additional units arrived at the scene, crews were alerted to another house fire in the 400 block of West 40th Street, Sprague said. The agency diverted some resources to the second incident.
Three adults, two teenagers and a dog managed to escape unscathed before flames completely destroyed the 1,200-square-foot residence, the Fire Department said.
One of the residents, Trevor Jones, said his dog had woken him up. When he opened the bedroom door, Jones saw flames coming out of the wall.
The father said he immediately grabbed and deployed a fire extinguisher.
"It calmed [the flames] down for a second and then they instantly came at me like they were angry," Jones told KTLA. "At that point I’m yelling, ‘Everybody get out! Get out!"
He said had had to return inside to get his puppy.
Firefighters were able to contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading to nearby properties, the agency said.
An electrical outlet accidentally sparked that fire, officials later determined. While they did not find anything suspicious about that incident, investigators said they were dubious about what caused the first blaze.
The early morning fires occurred as the area experienced gusty winds.
Authorities provided no further information.