NEWPORT BEACH — Three people were rushed to the hospital with burns Wednesday morning after an explosion in an apartment complex near Fashion Island, firefighters said.
Residents in the 200 block of Baywood Drive called 9-1-1 at 10 a.m. to report hearing the explosion, said Battalion Chief Ralph Restadius.
Witnesses reported seeing flames and multiple people on the ground.
Firefighters found the fire outside a first-floor apartment, with flames lapping up to the second story. Four were found injured, including three with severe burns to their hands and face, Restadius said.
The fourth victim was treated at the scene.
Early reports indicate that employees of the Irvine Co.-owned complex were working on a water heater when it exploded. They were said to be those who were injured.
Irvine Co. officials said displaced residents will be put up in hotels and other properties until more permanent housing is found. It was not immediately clear how many people would be displaced, but a fire official said two units in the complex were affected.