Fire Department: Home destroyed in blaze was vacant; exact cause remains unknown

More than a week after a home was destroyed in the 500 block of Avenue Cerca, its exact cause remains unknown, but a Palm Springs Fire Department spokesperson said there is no evidence of criminal activity at the residence or that the fire was intentionally set.

Fire destroyed a vacant home on Avenue Cerca in Palm Springs on Feb. 22

Capt. Nathan Gunkel, public information officer for the Fire Department, said Tuesday that while the home was unoccupied, transients may have been on site at the time of the incident. While neighbors reported hearing an explosion, he said, “Initially no obvious signs of an explosion were found on scene.”

The fire was first reported at 9:31 PM Feb. 22. Five Palm Springs Fire Department engines, one medic squad and one battalion chief responded, getting the scene under control in about 45 minutes. Gunkel said no victims were discovered inside the home and no fire personnel were injured fighting the blaze.

Whether the fire was started accidently by anyone inside the home remains unknown.

“Due to the degree of fire involvement at the time of our arrival initial finding were undetermined on the cause, “ Gunkel said. “The house was vacant but there were reports of transients occupying the residence.”

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