Crime - Sacto 911

Apartment residents escape big Citrus Heights blaze

The Red Cross has provided housing for 17 residents displaced after a fire Tuesday morning in Citrus Heights, said Jordan Scott, Red Cross communications director for Sacramento.

Residents were initially trapped inside seven units at the Autumn Ridge Apartments, said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Capt. Michelle Eidam. One woman jumped from a second-story window. Two residents were taken to a hospital. Their conditions were not available. A firefighter also was taken to a hospital with minor injuries and released Tuesday.

“The fact that it was not fatal or that people did not suffer serious burns is miraculous,” said Eidam.

The residents were either temporarily given vacant apartments in the same complex where the fire occurred or lodged in a hotel, Scott said. The fire caused about $1 million in damage, according to Metro Fire officials.

Fire crews arriving at the apartment complex about 2 a.m. on Shadow Lane found a column of smoke rising from the burning units.

Firefighters climbed into windows to search for residents and pets trapped in the two-story building because the breezeway stairs and the front doors were engulfed in flames.

One man was assisted out of a window, according to a Metro Fire press release. All other residents escaped before firefighters arrived.

Two dogs, three cats, a bird and a hamster were rescued. The two dogs received oxygen and seemed to recover.

Firefighters contained the damage to the building where the fire originated. The units were heavily damaged by flames and smoke.

Piles of burned wood, furniture and personal possessions lined the outside of the partially boarded up apartment building Tuesday afternoon. Parts of the roof in the top floor apartments were burned, as were the walls on some top floor apartments. The white siding of a neighboring unit standing about 15 feet from the ignited structure was warped from the heat.

The investigation into the cause of the fire continued Tuesday.

“Any fire that spread so quickly and did so much damage would normally bring arson investigators,” said Eidam.