May 27, 2014 12:55 AM
Flames were shooting out from the roof of the Manzanita Garden Apartments in Chico. It took all of the cities resources to get the fire under control.
Residents were enjoying the Memorial Day when tragedy struck. "I was just sitting on the couch and we heard about 5 or 6 explosions and we all came running out gathered all the kids here," said David Rodriguez, a resident at Manzanita Garden Apartments. He noticed the building next to his was going up in flames.
"We had a call of a fence fire next to a structure. The city dispatched a full structure response to that incident. Upon arrival, the fire had already extended into the apartment next to the fenced up into the attic at that time," said Chief Bill Hack with Chico Fire. The fire was so big that Chico Fire had to call in backup from Butte County Fire Rescue and Cal Fire. "Every fire engine and fire truck in the city of Chico was assigned to this incident in addition to every county resource in the Chico urban area."
Oroville and Paradise Fire Departments covered other emergencies around the city while Chico Fire battled the 2 alarm blame. Luckily, the department decided to have extra firefighters on duty for Memorial Day. "Because of the holiday we up-staffed and made sure that all of the city of Chico fire stations were covered today even though there weren't a lot of holiday events. It was very fortunate for us that we had additional staffing to help with this fire," explained Hack.
Even though Rodriguez’s apartment was spared, he says it was a scary situation. "My hearts still going a little bit because my place is on this side and it could spread." Five units were damaged by the fire displacing 10 adults and 12 children. The Red Cross was on scene and put the families in local motels for the night. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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