Four of the homes were considered fully destroyed, while the fifth was heavily damaged, fire officials said.
Two firefighters and one civilian suffered minor injuries related to smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, said Jeff Allen, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
WATCH LIVE: Firefighters douse the smoking ruins of homes in San Bernardino
The blaze, later dubbed the Kendall Fire, was reported near W. Kendall Drive and N. F Street on the south side of Little Mountain, officials said.
The incident began as a half-acre vegetation fire until it rapidly grew to about 8 to 10 acres spreading up a hillside to homes on the ridgeline, according to San Bernardino County fire officials.
By 4 p.m. it was considered about 50 percent contained with flames no longer visible, but firefighters continuing to douse the smoldering ruins of the homes.
The neighborhood was under evacuation orders Saturday afternoon. Evacuation orders were issued off Skylark Drive, and an evacuation center was being set in place at 3900 North Severance.
Multiple units with 120 firefighters were responding to the scene that later grew to a third-alarm fire, SB County fire officials stated on Twitter.
SAN BERNARDINO: Kendall IC requesting 3rd ALARM, two structures involved. Multiple units enroute Krn— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) July 2, 2016
The cause of the blaze was under investigation.