Fire at Dwight Way. Photo: CBS News

A fire that erupted in a house at 1517 Dwight Way this morning not only destroyed the building but melted some power lines and ignited two gas meters.

Four people who lived in the house managed to escape, according to fire officials.

“The occupants reported that they were not sure what woke them up, but something did,” Battalion Chief Bill Kehoe told KTVU News. “They may have heard something. Once one of them was awakened, they saw the orange glow through the window.”

The fire was reported by neighbors around 1:05 am. When firefighters arrived, they learned that nearby power lines were down, which complicated the situation, according to Kehoe. They had to avoid the lines and attach hoses to more distant hydrants.

Two gas meters made of plastic melted and released some gas that erupted into a six-foot high fireball, said Kehoe. Firefighters were able to turn off the gas line and continue fighting the blaze. It took PG&E crews an hour and a half to come to the scene, he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Damage is estimated at $400,000.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...