Fire rips through Garden Grove home, residents escape unharmed


A fire exploded inside a large home in Garden Grove early Thursday morning and cellphone video captured the frantic moments.

The homeowner, who was in the shower at the time, was forced to leave wearing only the shower curtain.

Friend Michael Fonesca took the cellphone video and arrived just as the flames broke out in the 9300 block of Royal Palm Boulevard.

“It got pitch black in there and running around in there trying to find him. Then I see Daniel and I’m like, ‘Hey! There’s a fire, you know?'” Fonesca said.

Daniel Battista and his fiance lived at the home. They heard the alarm and the screaming and grabbed what they could before fleeing the home.

“The heat was unbearable. I couldn’t breathe even through the thing. I couldn’t see. I realized there was nothing I could do, I’ve got to get out,” he said.

Battista said the flames were nearly to the ceiling. AIR7 HD flew over the scene, capturing the three-alarm blaze moving quickly through the 3,500-square foot home.

“It got real real to me when the windows started blowing out…real loud, real scary. It seemed like glass was flying,” he said.

Everyone got out safely and the homeowner was treated for minor burns. The other tenants and the fire department said hoarding conditions made the fire worse.

“The first arriving unit said there was a lot of obstructions moving inside the residence. So as far as the storage – it was excessive, both inside and outside,” said Capt. Brad Spell, with the Garden Grove Fire Department.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.