Flames shot through the roof and thick clouds of smoke billowed from windows. The fire broke out around 3:30 p.m. in a massive three-story home on the 4000 block of Balboa Avenue.
"It was a little scary at first because we could see the smoke. The smoke and the winds were blowing and it was heading right down the street and so we were a little concerned," said Laura Novak Winer of Encino.
Fire crews arrived quickly and were able to keep the flames from spreading to surrounding homes and brush. About 120 firefighters were called in to battle the blaze. The hillside location of the house made their job even harder.
"Tight hillside, very narrow access, and firefighters had to bring equipment from a quarter-mile down the road with all their gear and then to launch an attack on the fire," said Asst. Chief Patrick Butler with the LAFD.
According to fire officials, two fire captains were injured - one with a significant extremity injury and the other with dehydration. Also, two firefighter/paramedics were injured - one with chest pain and the other with a moderate extremity injury. All were transported to local hospitals. One firefighter was released back to duty while others required further evaluation and treatment.
"One of our fire captains, he appeared to have had a broken arm. But I did talk to him. He was in good spirits. It appears he did suffer a fall at the fire," said Butler.
The owner of the property, who works from home, was not injured. Arson investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire.
Fire crews remained at the scene Wednesday night.
"I'm just glad that they're here overnight to watch it because you never know when it could spark up again," said Winer.
An earlier version of this story stated three firefighters were injured. Fire officials updated that figure to four injured early Thursday morning.