A fire in the East Bay started with a man flicking a cigarette into dry weeds, destroying his neighbor's home, and ended with the discovery of a nearby marijuana grow operation, fire officials said.
One house on Burwood Way in Antioch was completely obscured by bright orange flames after the homeowner's neighbor flicked a lit cigarette into some dry weeds at about 5 p.m., according to fire officials.
"We're going to call the cause a discarded cigarette in the neighbor's backyard," said Richard Sonsteng of the Contra Costa County Fire Department.
He said firefighters faced many challenges, including high winds and temperatures in the high 90s -- but it was a lack of resources that hampered them the most.
"Resources draw down because we had engines at Bay Point and Brentwod that our crews were participating on," Sonsteng said. There were a slew of other large fires in the East Bay on Saturday.
In Antioch, 30 homes were threatened and at least 5 were damaged or destroyed as a result of the cigarette, fire officials said.
What's more, police officials discovered a marijuana grow operation in another neighbor's home during evacuations of the Antioch neighborhood. Several people were arrested at that residence, officials said.
That escalated so quick. Antioch house fire. pic.twitter.com/wmCk3Q5tBi
— Jackie Richardson (@JackkieMarrie) June 26, 2016
Neighbors say it felt like a furnace as the inferno picked up speed. Selena Rodriguez, a resident of the Burwood community, said a firefighter knocked on her door and told her that she and her husband had to "get out, fast."
"It was a shock to walk outside and see our neighbors house ablaze," Rodriguez said.
The fire was contained by about 7:30 p.m.