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Plumes of dark smoke rose above Salt Lake City just west of Interstate 15 on Monday afternoon as firefighters worked to extinguish fire burning two houses and causing damage that may total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

No one was injured from the fire, which ignited near 150 South on 900 West about 2:45 p.m., said Salt Lake City Fire Department spokeswoman Audra Sorensen

The fire began, witnesses said, in the northern of the two damaged houses. Its sole resident said he heard a series of explosions coming from the rear of the home.

Virna Martinez, whose family owns a restaurant on the same block, said the house where the fire originated is nicknamed "the hoarder home because there's so much stuff between" it and a neighboring house.

Within minutes of seeing flames, Martinez said, she heard "a huge explosion," followed by a series of explosions. She saw the flames spread from the house to the house directly to the south side, she said, and a tree in the backyard caught fire.

The fire "spread so rapidly," Sorensen said, that it required 65 firefighters within minutes of the initial report.

The firefighters contained the "majority of the fire" in about two and a half hours, she said, but property damage alone was estimated to be $300,000.

The fire consumed two outdoor sheds, destroyed two vehicles and caused heat damage to eight others, Sorensen said. The eastern sides of both homes had collapsed completely, she said, and despite the blaze being contained, flames were still visible about 5:30 p.m.

No one was injured in the fire, Sorensen said, and the Red Cross was helping eight displaced residents find shelter.

Fire officials were investigating the cause of the fire Monday night.

Twitter: @mnoblenews