WEST SEATTLE -- A dramatic fire burned three houses in the West Seattle neighborhood, sending up plumes of black smoke visible for miles.
Fire crews were called to the 6700 block of 46th Avenue SW around 4:45 p.m. Thursday for the report of multiple homes on fire.
Seattle Fire Department officials said there were no injuries.
"I heard crackling and thought it was some sort of activity going on and then a big loud boom," said homeowner Mary Bell.
Bell was inside her home when flames erupted from the house next door and quickly spread.
"By then my other neighbor on the other side was at my front door saying 'get out of the house!'" said Bell.
"We started going house to house just to make sure everybody got out," said neighbor Rich Albers. "The fire was spreading really fast."
"I saw these flames just kind of jut up from behind this house and they were going up really high, and smoke and lots of it, and then it just started spreading just really really fast," said neighbor BJ Bullert.
The fire spread from one home to another and a third, each just 5 to 10 feet apart, according to fire officials.
Fire crews faced extra challenges with the narrow road. They had to hook up three hoses the length of two football fields to reach the nearest fire hydrant.
When homes are this close together during such an intense burn, Seattle fire says there's only so much you can do to protect your property.
"The best thing you can do is make sure there's no brush or shrubbery or anything like that the fire can travel from one to the other," said spokesperson Kyle Moore. "However, fires burn very hot about 1,200 degrees, they can send radiant heat up the siding and that house can ignite as well."
Bell is sad her home is gone, but also grateful considering what she could have lost.
Crews were able to fight that third fire from within the home saving a good portion of it, but the first two homes were destroyed.
Officials will be monitoring the area overnight watching for flareups and investigators plan to return to the scene Friday to determine the cause.