Two people and a dog have been found dead inside a home that was destroyed when a massive fire fueled by heavy ammunition erupted in Sylmar early Sunday morning.
Firefighters were called to the blaze, located at the home in the 13700 block of Glenoaks Boulevard, at around 4:40 a.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department officials.
They found the flames engulfing both the primary structure of the home, as well as two other buildings at the back of the property.
It took more than an hour for crews to completely extinguish the massive flames, which continued to grow as "heavy ammunition" was "going off." As a result, firefighters were forced to take a defensive approach to battling the fire.
"They did hear ammunition going off and it was going off in such a pattern that they weren't sure if it was being shot live from a gun or if it was just ammunition that was stored that was getting heated, cooked off and started to pop," said LAFD's Erik Scott.
After the fire had subsided, crews were able to examine the rubble left behind and found the body of a man and a dog inside of the rubble. They also found a woman's body inside of the pool.
One of the victims was identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner as 68-year-old Phyllis Ann Patterson. The other victim, only identified as an adult male, has not yet been identified.
Investigators have noted that both the bodies had gunshot wounds, but their causes of death remain to be determined.
Neighbors living in the area recall waking up to the sound of gunfire, unsure what was happening outside of their doors.
"Automatic machine gun fire is what it sounded like," said one man living nearby.
A bomb squad, arson investigation unit and LAPD's Gangs and Narcotics division were called to the scene for investigation after "thousands of rounds of ammunition and multiple firearms" were found in what officers believe was a "ballistic ordinance in the location," police said.
All three of the structures have been red-tagged as a result of the damage suffered in the fire.
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