It all started when a Brea police dash cam captured the first explosion. Two officers went to the scene to see what happened. They found a smoking manhole. The officers kept their distance as they waited for firefighters to arrive.
Eventually, a fire captain and firefighter approached the manhole and looked down. The electrical vault unexpectedly exploded, literally sending the fire captain flying into the bushes.
The firefighter headed for the bushes to administer aid and the two police officers were also prepared to help when all of a sudden there was another explosion. The men rushed to get the fire captain out. As he was being dragged to safety, the fourth blast went off.
Orange County Fire Authority Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion said the men did everything right when looking into the smoking manhole.
"The fire captain and the firefighter were properly equipped to approach that. We're taught to approach carefully. They were investigating what they thought was a fire. They didn't expect it to explode like that," said Concepcion.
Amazingly, the firefighters only sustained minor facial burns. They're expected to be OK. Concepcion said if a regular citizen without the right gear was in the same situation, it could have resulted in more serious injuries or even death.
The explosions initially knocked out power to about 3,400 homes. Most of the electricity has been restored, but the cause of the blasts remains under investigation.