Eastside homes evacuated after propane tanks explode

Several houses on Costa Mesa's Eastside were evacuated Friday when an unknown number of propane tanks exploded during an outdoor fire, an official said.

The Costa Mesa Fire Department responded to more than 10 calls of a fire starting at 4:17 p.m. in the 1500 block of Orange Avenue, said Battalion Chief Fred Seguin. It took 25 fire personnel about 10 minutes to extinguish a small shed and vehicle fire, he said.

Four fire engines and two trucks were dispatched after the initial responders saw black smoke coming from the backyard of a three-unit apartment complex, Seguin said.

Firefighters found a shed with a small boat in the backyard and an adjacent pickup truck on fire, he said.

While firefighters extinguished the fire quickly, the process was lengthened by two small explosions from an unknown number of propane tanks from an outdoor barbecue, Seguin said.

As a precaution, three to four houses around the fire were evacuated, he said.

No one was hurt in the fire. Investigators are still looking into its cause and origin.

—Britney Barnes

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

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