STOCKTON -- Video shared by the Stockton Fire Department shows bright orange flames ripping through a construction site Tuesday evening.
"All you see was the sky was lit with fire and the embers coming down," witness Doris Thurston said.
Thurston says she was asleep with her grandkids when she heard a frantic knock on the door.
"The lady told us, 'There’s a fire, you guys need to get out,' so I ran and grabbed my grandkids," Thurston said.
The woman who alerted Thurston to the fire did not wish to be identified.
"People were moving their cars as fast as they could to get them out of there and yeah, it was just crazy," the good Samaritan said.
The Stockton Fire Department says the blaze damaged the Sierra Vista housing projects near 11th Street.
A construction employee told FOX40 off camera that the fire was so hot, windows at nearby structures were melted and cracked.
Huge chunks of embers also rained down.
“It was just scary, my grandkids were crying. I was nervous just making sure everybody got out," Thurston said.
Thurston says she feared another fire would break out were it not for Mother Nature.
"Because of the rain, I believe it helped," Thurston said. "Because God said, 'Ha!'"
Investigators say the cause hasn't yet been determined, but neighbors believe it was no accident.
"Not the way the blaze was, no," Thurston told FOX40. "Somebody set it on fire."