People rescued from downtown San Diego apartment building fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

People rescued from downtown San Diego apartment building fire

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - A two-alarm fire at an apartment building in downtown San Diego left 16 people displaced Monday, sent one man to the hospital, and caused about $850,000 in damage,authorities said.

Firefighters sent to 1440 4th Avenue spotted flames shooting from an upstairs room around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Capt. Joseph Amador of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
   
Concerns that residents may have been trapped inside the two-story building near Beech Street prompted authorities to call for additional firefighters, Amador said. Crews raised ladders to help residents seen hanging out of their windows.

"They said get out you're on fire, so I pushed out my screen and the fireman laid a ladder out there, so I crawled down my ladder,” said resident, Daniel Vietch.

At least one person jumped from a second-story window as the fire burned. Amador said a man who was injured in the jump and also suffered possible smoke inhalation was taken to a hospital to be treated.

"And I go 'fire' let me get out, and I thought they were just kidding so I was like no get out and I saw a flame and I was like oh My gosh and it was hard for me but I made it,” said resident Tanya Bishton.

The blaze was extinguished in about 20 minutes, Amador said. Investigators later determined it had started accidentally, but its exact cause was not immediately disclosed.

"Everything. My whole life is in there you know. I mean that's all we have right there,” continued Vietch.
   
Amador said the American Red Cross was summoned to assist the 16 residents displaced by the fire.

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