Explosion sparks fire at Rosemead apartment complex; 100 evacuated

ROSEMEAD, Calif. (KABC) -- An explosion at an apartment complex in Rosemead sparked a fire Tuesday afternoon, forcing the evacuation of at least 100 residents from 36 townhomes.

Los Angeles County firefighters responded to the apartment complex in the 4200 block of Walnut Grove Avenue shortly before 4 p.m. following reports of an explosion.

Three units were damaged in the fire. One firefighter suffered burns to his ears.

Arson investigators were called to the scene to investigate the cause of the explosion and subsequent fire.

"Initially, it came in as an explosion and the next-door neighbor confirmed that there was some sort of a concussion, like an earthquake, so we're going off that premise, but we haven't got our cause investigators in there yet to determine exactly the cause of the incident," said Los Angeles County Fire Asst. Chief Nick Duvally.

No evidence of any pipe bombs were found at the scene as initially reported by firefighters.

Residents were evacuated to a temporary shelter at Rosemead High School. All but those who live in the three townhomes damaged in the fire were allowed to return to their units at about 6:45 p.m.

Walnut Grove Avenue is closed between Valley Boulevard and Wells Street. Motorists were urged to avoid the area until further notice.

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