Four acres of wooden pallets burn in explosive fire in Fontana

Fire caused more than $3 million in damage at pallet yard in Fontana

An explosive fire ripped through four acres of wooden pallets at a Fontana business late Thursday, threatening nearby buildings and injuring a firefighter.

Flames as high as 30 feet could be seen a mile away from the pallet yard in the 13700 block of Santa Ana Avenue, according to Tracey Martinez of the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

More than 65 firefighters battled the stubborn blaze, which caused at least $3 million in damage and took 2 1/2 hours to put out, she said. One firefighter suffered a non-life-threatening injury.

Firefighters were called to the scene at about 9:55 p.m. after propane tanks and acetylene cylinders began exploding and flames started consuming stacks of pallets, Martinez said. The fire then spread to rows of large tires used for heavy equipment, she said.

As the fire burned, a Fontana police officer woke a resident who was sleeping inside a home in front of the yard, Martinez said. The resident was "unaware of how dangerously close the fire came to the back side of the home," she said. The home suffered minor damage.

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