BURBANK, Calif. - Officials responded to a three-alarm brush fire that quickly spread near homes above the area of Kenneth and Irving drives Wednesday in Burbank.
The fire originated on Hamline Place around 3 p.m.
Homes on Viewcrest Drive and Howard Court were placed under mandatory evacuations, but those orders were lifted shortly before 9 p.m., Burbank police said. Officials said about 50 homes were evacuated.
PHOTOS: Brush fire scorches area near Burbank neighborhood
Homeowners were relieved and grateful when firefighters sprung into action and quickly controlled the blaze.
"This was the scariest thing I've ever been in in my life," Zaher Hawara said. "Within a minute, we couldn't really see each other and we couldn't breathe so we really had to evacuate."
Hawara said the smoke was so thick he and his family had a hard time getting out of their home.
Other neighbors said they saw flames and fleets of helicopters and firefighters working hard to protect their homes.
Shortly before 6 p.m., the Burbank Police Department tweeted that the blaze was 80 percent contained.
Authorities closed streets near the fire, including Irving east of Kenneth and Joaquin at Haven Way, but reopened all of them by 10:40 p.m.
Resident Larry Tabor said he was informed of the fire by his neighbor. He said the fire came over a hillside behind the homes and began getting closer.
He said he had his bags packed and ready to go, but it appeared that fire crews began to get a handle over the fire.
The 22-year resident said he has never seen a fire near his home.
Burbank resident discusses fire near his home
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded with air and ground crews to assist Burbank's fire department. Two water dropping helicopters and a team of Fly Crew firefighters also battled the blaze.
Burbank police said firefighters and officers would work through the night to monitor the fire.