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Rancho Mirage fire destroys home

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Neighbors on Rancho Mirage Lane describe the fire that devastated an entire home.


"I looked out my window and I saw all kinds of thick, black smoke coming out of that house. I heard more explosions later," neighbor Les Gapay said. "An elderly lady lives there. I met her a few times. She had an old pickup truck that I think is gutted out sitting in the driveway."


The fire gutted out a lot more than that.


The homeowner was inside when she saw flames, called 911, and then ran down the street. When crews arrived, flames had engulfed the entire home.


Burning debris threatened the neighboring house, and high winds and heat forced firefighters to call in backup.


"They called for a second alarm. So we had about 12 fire engines, two ladder trucks, two ambulances, a breathing support, and several chief officers on scene to manage the incident," Cal Fire Chief Mike Marlow said.


About 50 firefighters eventually put out the fire.


"There was storage of a tent trailer on the side of the house. There were a few propane tanks...the property owner told me there were some propane tanks outside. It could have been that, but I can't confirm that yet," Marlow said.


The homeowner got out safely. The fire department continues to investigate the cause of the fire.


Two cars, a traveling trailer, and the home were destroyed, totaling $300,000 dollars in damages.


Neighboring homes have minor damage -- but no one was forced to evacuate.

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