Onlookers watch as fire crews work to extinguish a blaze at a home in Signal Hill Wednesday. No injuries reported.
Onlookers watch as fire crews work to extinguish a blaze at a home in Signal Hill Wednesday. No injuries reported. (Stephen Carr / Staff Photographer)

SIGNAL HILL — A fire destroyed a two-story home in Signal Hill Wednesday, but the residents were out of town at the time and no one was injured, authorities said. | PHOTOS

Los Angeles County Fire Battalion Chief Ken Wiles said the blaze was reported at about 12:30 p.m. at a single-family home on Hill Street near the corner of Gaviota Avenue.

Firefighters at the scene were met with a wall of fire as flames lapped up the walls of the home into the attic, he said.

"At first they couldn't get past the front porch because of the extreme heat and fire," Wiles said.

L.A. County firefighters on the roof of a home in the 1600 block of Hill Street in Signal Hill. Flames destroyed the home that had no occupants in it. Two
L.A. County firefighters on the roof of a home in the 1600 block of Hill Street in Signal Hill. Flames destroyed the home that had no occupants in it. Two apartments in the back of the home were evacuated. (Stephen Carr / Staff Photographer)

Five fire engines responded to the scene and firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze in about five minutes. Wiles said the fire resulted in a total loss of the home.

The homeowners, who neighbors identified as a retired couple, are on vacation in Lake Havasu, Ariz., Wiles said, adding that the couple's adult daughter was watching the home for her parents but was not home at the time of the fire.

"Thankfully nobody was injured," he said.

Firefighters remained on the scene Wednesday afternoon monitoring hot spots. The inside walls and floors of the home were blackened, and occasional spots of smoke still crept from the ashes.

Witnesses reported smells of smoke and walls of flames leaping from the windows and roof.


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"I smelled smoke and I looked outside and the whole front of the house was covered in fire," said neighbor Brooke Anson.

At one point, a power line fell, popping and crackling on the ground, neighbors said.

"The firefighters busted through the roof and then that's really when the flames took off, they were really coming out of the roof," said neighbor John Simpson.

Wiles said investigators were working to determine the cause of the blaze.

kelly.puente@presstelegram.com, 562-714-2181, twitter.com/kellypuentept