TOPANGA, Calif. (KABC) -- As Santa Ana winds whipped across Southern California, raging flames burned through a structure after a brush fire broke out overnight near Topanga Canyon.
The fire sparked up in the windy conditions around 2 a.m. Thursday on Swenson Drive near Tuna Canyon Park, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Officials said forward progress was stopped after a few hours. The brush fire burned about roughly 3 acres and was 50% contained.
Firefighters were seen battling the flames as they consumed a structure that officials initially described as a two-story commercial building. However, AIR7 HD surveyed the damaged and the charred structure appeared to be a home, which caught fire then ignited the nearby brush, officials said.
"It was unbelievably insane," said Sandy Mastoras, who lives directly below the house that burned. She said she screamed for her husband and son when she noticed the fire. "You didn't hear anything; you just saw the flame and the light. It was like bright and very scary."
She then tried to wake up her neighbor, Roxane Berger, to warn her.
"She woke me up, honking her horn. I open up the door, and all I did was scream. I just figured that was easier than trying to explain anything to my husband," said Berger.
The last heavy rainfall actually helped firefighters slow down the spread of the fire.
"Normally, this time of year, the live fuel moisture, and the very large brush, that's 25, 30-year-old growth," said Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael McCormick. "Those moistures would be a lot lower than what they are currently, and that fire would have been able to take a lot more property to the ocean most likely."
No evacuations were ordered, but Southern California Edison said it shut off power in Las Flores Canyon in eastern Malibu.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
Meanwhile, a red flag warning is now in place across parts of L.A. County. The warning for mountain and valley areas will remain in place through 6 p.m. Thursday.
Forecasters say some mountain areas could see gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. The windy and dry conditions mean an increased risk of wildfires.