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Gas leak ignites garage fire in Poway

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POWAY, Calif. -- A fire in a Poway residential area burned one garage and caused about 1,500 homes to temporarily lose power Sunday afternoon, officials said.

At about 1:15 p.m. Sunday, the Poway and San Diego fire departments responded to a fire that was reported in the garage of a home on the 13000 block of Silver Saddle Lane.

Battalion Chief Ray Fried with the Poway Fire Department said neighbors heard a hiss followed by an explosion, after which they called 911. "Crews found an exterior fire to the garage that looked to be gas-fed," Fried said. "We don’t know what caused the gas leak, but that appears to be the source of the fire."

No people or animals were injured. Firefighters evacuated one family that lived nearby, but the homeowners of the house that caught fire and other neighbors whose homes were threatened were not home when the fire started.

According to Fried, damage was restricted to the garage and garage exterior of the home that caught fire.

SDG&E crews were on-site to shut off gas and electricity lines. City of Poway officials said SDG&E  cut power to roughly 1,500 homes, which had power restored by late Sunday afternoon.

The fire occurred less than one week after a damaged gas line caused an explosion in a Murrieta home that left one person dead and 15 others wounded. With that recent event in mind, Fried said crews were practicing extreme caution while putting out the garage fire in Poway. "We’re keeping crews back and are talking with SDG&E about how far back we should be," he said.

Officials were investigating the cause of the gas leak Sunday evening.

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