California Apartment Fire

Firefighters carry tools as they enter the apartment building after a fire tore through the Chatham Village apartments complex in Tustin, Calif., early Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. The fire left the building gutted, displacing about 100 people, who huddled in blankets in the pre-dawn cold. (Mark Rightmire/The Orange County Register/SCNG via AP)

TUSTIN (CNS) — A five-alarm pre-dawn blaze raced through a two-story apartment building Wednesday, displacing dozens of residents, two of whom suffered smoke inhalation.

The fire was reported at 3:01 a.m. at Chatham Village apartments and wasn’t fully extinguished until 8:04 a.m., according to the Orange County Fire Authority. The cause of the blaze, which caused the roof to collapse, was under investigation.

One resident was initially listed as missing, but was later located, said OCFA Capt. Tony Bommarito. He said 62 residents sought shelter and services from the American Red Cross.

Bommarito said the first firefighters on the scene encountered heavy fire on the first floor that quickly extended to the second floor and the attic.

“That’s how that fire traveled so quickly,” he said. “We had roof collapse in about 24 minutes, which is very quick for a building of this size.”

The entire building is “pretty much a loss,” as even the lower units not affected by flames are “uninhabitable” due to water and smoke damage, Bommarito said, adding that about 120 firefighters battled the flames.

A man found suffering from smoke inhalation was taken to a hospital, and a woman was treated at the scene. Both were described as senior citizens.

Police went unit to unit to alert residents as the flames quickly spread through the complex, which has 38 units.

“I woke up and I looked out the back yard and there was (flames). The cops were banging on our door, saying, `Get out, there’s a fire,’” 13-year- old Angelina Gonzalez told NBC4. “All our stuff was in there. I got my dogs, and I ran out.”

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