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Fire rips through Natomas apartment complex

A two-alarm blaze that tore through homes at a Natomas apartment complex Friday afternoon left at least five people homeless as residents rushed through smoke and flames to safety.

The 4:30 p.m. fire at 3445 Summer Park Drive off of San Juan Road started in a downstairs unit at the northwest end of the complex, quickly gutting it before moving into the two upstairs units. Fifty firefighters were called to knock down the blaze, said Sacramento Fire Chief Dan Haverty. No injuries were reported.

Brennon Moore and partner Dante Joseph had just tucked their 3-month-old son Adrian in for a nap and were starting dinner when Moore heard a noise that sounded like shattered glass.

“Something told me to open the door and all I saw was smoke. I got my baby and ran down the stairs,” Moore said, looking at his wrecked apartment from the parking lot as Joseph calmed little Adrian with a baby bottle in the back of their car.

“The flames were coming up to my balcony as I was running down the stairs,” said Moore, as neighbors Angela and Stanley Martin stopped by to exchange numbers and extend an offer of baby formula. “Everything in my apartment is completely gone.”

Moore said his family plans to stay with relatives in Stockton while they find other living arrangements.

Haverty said firefighters arrived at the complex to find heavy smoke and fire pouring out of the downstairs apartment and moving into the attic space it shares with the upstairs units. Two of the apartments caught fire, while four others were saturated with smoke, he said.

Firefighters were especially concerned that the flames might spread to the four units on the back side of the fire, Haverty said.

Twins Claudia and Claude Williams III, 20, had the same worry. Claudia Williams said the sister-and-brother team alerted neighbors to the blaze and told them to flee.

“The fire was getting close to the apartments,” Williams said. “We were banging on people’s doors. I helped a pregnant woman out of her apartment.”

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