Rounds of ammunition exploded Wednesday as flames tore through a Yorba Linda home for more than hour, gutting the two-story residence and damaging nearby homes, authorities said.
About 1:40 p.m., the blaze erupted in the backyard of the home in the 17200 block of Chestnut Street, said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.
Before more than 90 firefighters arrived, a plume of thick black smoke rose up and the heat caused several rounds of homemade ammunition to burst. Loud pops could be heard through the affluent neighborhood, Concialdi said.
The homeowner, a man in his 60s, was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. He kept primer and gunpowder in his garage, which he used to reload ammunition of various sizes. Also in the garage were nearly 200 vintage guitars and amplifiers, some of which were damaged by the flames, Concialdi said.
FOR THE RECORD:
A previous version of this story said bullets were reloaded with gunpowder. The cartridge, or round of ammunition, is reloaded.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad was called to the scene to safely remove the ammunition and gunpowder after the fire was knocked down about 3 p.m.
The fire completely destroyed the home, causing more than $1 million in damage.
At one neighboring residence, the high temperatures caused a kitchen window to shatter, Concialdi said. The attic of another nearby home caught fire, causing more than $75,000 in damage to the roof. The American Red Cross is helping the residents of all three affected homes.
“This fire could have been significantly worse if it was a windy day,” Concialdi said.
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.
For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.