Workers stripping paint from kitchen cabinets apparently touched off a flash fire in the kitchen of an expensive Anaheim Hills home Thursday afternoon, and the flames devoured 80% of the house before firefighters could extinguish them, a fire department spokesman said.
The loss was estimated at $500,000 to the house and its contents. Although two of the residents and as many as four workmen were in the house when the explosion occurred, no one was injured, the spokesman said.
Dispatcher Jonathan Wilkes quoted fire investigators as reporting that it appeared the fumes from the paint stripper were touched off when a worker accidentally drew his steel wool against an exposed electrical socket, causing a spark.
Capt. Tom Barnes said the fire spread with unusual speed. He said the fire department was called almost immediately after the explosion but the house was engulfed in flame by the time the first trucks arrived.