Firefighters battle wind driven house fire in Indio

Incident downed a power line, closed roadway

Firefighters battle wind driven house...

INDIO, Calif - A large residential fire in Indio Saturday afternoon prompted nearly two dozen fire fighters to respond to the intersection of Jackson Street and Odlum Road. Multiple witnesses at the scene described hearing a large explosion and then seeing large flames.

"I thought it was something like a bomb," a neighbor told KESQ News Channel 3's and CBS Local 2's Katie Widner. "It was an explosion and when I turned, it was all black."

Neighbors said underneath the black smoke was a wall of flames. Officials with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said it started with a structure in the back of an abandoned house in the 49000 Block of Jackson Street at about 4:40 p.m. The fire took down a power line and winds spread the flames to an adjacent lot and then beyond.

"The winds started picking up later on after that, which ended up getting a couple of spot fires about a quarter mile down the roadway," explained Battalion Chief Joe Taylor.

Taylor said ten engines, a truck company, a medic unit and breathing support, all responded to aid the battle. Crews were able to contain the fire within 40 minutes. The Imperial Irrigation District also responded to attend to the power pole. No outages were reported.

Jackson Street between Avenues 48 and 50 was closed for hours, reopening just after 9 p.m. Authorities said noone was hurt and that the incident is under investigation. There is no word on what caused the fire and subsequent explosion.

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