ELK GROVE (CBS13) — A fast-moving fire in Elk Grove threatened homes while neighbors scrambled to keep the flames at bay in the first fire of what’s expected to be a scorching week.

Three homes were damaged in the two-acre fire that broke out near Laguna Star and Chesterbrook drives.

Only on CBS13, a neighbor’s video shows the intense fire creeping closer to the home, followed by what sounds like an explosion.

The wind-whipped, fast-moving grass fire spread from an Elk Grove field to eucalyptus trees where it roared.

“It was just like a matchstick coming up,” said neighbor Jeri Bartels.

Down the street, neighbors saw the huge plume of smoke, sensing the danger.

“I look over the fence and I see fire, and my first inclination is put it out,” said Joseph Wise. “Someone lives here.”

Wise and his friend Chris Buchanan, who scraped his arm climbing a fence rushed over to help.

Firefighters got a handle on the blaze, but not before three shake roofs caught fire from wind-blown embers. It was a close call for many others.

At one home, a backyard is untouched, but on the other side of the fence, the fire spread right up to it before stopping just feet away from several homes.

“A week ago everything was still pretty green, and we’re starting to see some change in how the fire behaves,” said deputy fire chief Mike McLaughlin.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but neighbors have their suspicions. Several said teenagers like to smoke in the field, and there have been several fires before. But they weren’t as big as Monday’s blaze.


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