A small fire in East Porterville raised black columns of smoke as it burned a few small buildings behind a residence near East Springville Drive on Friday afternoon.

“My sister and I didn't even know it was on fire,” said Pamela Lafay. “Someone ran to our door and yelled to get out that the house was on fire. We looked back and the whole back was completely engulfed.”

Across the street, Rigoberto Cisneros said he was feeding some animals when he heard a few explosions. He looked up and saw black columns of smoke.

“I was scared that the house was on fire. I ran over there,” he said.

The house didn't catch fire but a workshop and other small buildings did.

Lafay said they were doing some welding earlier in the day but doesn't know if that had anything to do with the fire.

Lafay and her sister, Wendy Bailey, said they have tools, tanks, paint, generators, in and around the sheds, and a travel trailer behind it. A jet ski had also caught fire.

Lafay and Bailey watched and when they saw the fire spreading under a fence and igniting the dry grass of the other home, they promptly picked up a water hose and extinguished it.

Porterville and Tulare County firetrucks responded to the fire.

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