A fast-moving fire, believed preceded by what neighbors reported was an explosion of some type, ripped through a senior care facility on Castle Hill Road in Walnut Creek Thursday with embers from the fire also setting another structure ablaze.
Workers, police and firefighters fought to evacuate approximately a half dozen residents from the home at 1516 Castle Hill Road after fire broke out at 3:53 p.m. A second alarm was promptly called after arriving firefighters were met by heavy smoke and fire.
Neighbors also reported hearing an “explosion,” possibly related to a gas line, shortly before the blaze took hold – though investigators on Friday said the fires started out as a vegetation fire believed sparked by discarded smoking materials.
No explanation was offered for the explosions, though oxygen or propane tanks have been suggested.
All residents of the home were quickly accounted for and were bused to a safe location, officials said. There were no reports of injuries.
Heavy smoke and embers blowing across I680 were believed to have started a rooftop blaze in the 1300 block of Creekside Drive, with a segment of a mutual aid response diverted to deal with the new threat.
Both fires were eventually extinguished, with crews remaining on the scene to conduct overhaul operations.