'Huge flame and darkness,' witnesses react to fast-moving 4-alarm fire at Santa Clara construction site

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- Many businesses and residents who live near Scott Boulevard and East El Camino Real were met with a massive, fast-moving 4-alarm fire on Friday morning.

RELATED: 1 person detained, then released after fire at condo complex under construction in Santa Clara

The fire was reported just after 11 a.m., at the site of a condominium construction project.

Video shared with ABC7 News shows massive flames and heavy, dark smoke billowing from the construction site.

"I will say, it did not take a minute to spread," Santokh Bassi said about the fire. "Very quick."

Bassi's nearby business took a hit. His windows were cracked, as his auto shop sits right across the street from the construction site.

Another nearby business owner named David Nasseri pointed to plastic parts on his car, melted and morphed by the intense heat. He said he was parked just 150-feet from the fire.

What would have been the Anantara Villas, with a mix of 58 affordable and market-rate condos, was consumed by fire.

Officials said one worker at the site was injured in their escape and was taken to a local hospital.

Other construction workers recalled what happened only moments before running for their lives.

"I thought somebody had a torch or something real close to me because it felt like a lot of heat," Manny Zuniga said. "I got scared and I looked up and there was a fire in the corner of the building."

Flames produced such an intense heat, Santa Clara Fire said surrounding structures started to smoke.

Ten homes were temporarily evacuated.

Some residents even grabbed garden hoses to keep the fire from their homes. Others did what they could to alert neighbors.

"This location is squeezed in here pretty tight, and there's a lot of residential property here with really older residents," Taylor Amarante said. "They were knocking on doors, getting people out."

Three dozen firefighters were on-hand. ATF investigators were also on-scene.

The fire was contained around 2 p.m., though crews stayed on scene to monitor hot spots.

Santa Clara Police detained one person of interest but announced the person was later released.

SCPD said until the fire department says it's safe, investigators aren't able to get inside.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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