Raging fire displaces 14 City Heights residents

American Red Cross asisting victims


Some City Heights residents are without a place to live after a fire ripped through six units at an apartment complex Friday evening.

The blaze occurred at about 4:15 p.m., in the 3400 block of 36th Street, near the intersection of Interstate 805 and state Route 15.

No injuries were reported.

Kathleen Felician, a City Heights mother of two told 10News reporter Preston Phillips, she accidentally started the fire that raged through her apartment and quickly spread to others.

“I left the stove on heating and went into the bathroom. By the time I came out it was already up. I lost everything in the apartment I have nothing else. My income is very low and I just don't know what to do,” said Felician.

Felician said she ran outside to grab a fire extinguisher, but it only took seconds for the fire to become too fierce to fight without the fire department's assistance.

“As soon as I saw how big the fire was I just told everyone to get out -- let the fire department do it -- and called 911. They were out here within 10 minutes I'd say,” said Apartment Manager Charles Lazzaro.

From Sky10, you could see the hole firefighters had to cut in the roof to help fight the blaze.

It wasn't long before they got it knocked down.

From the ground, 10News cameras captured images of 14 residents displaced, now being assisted by the American Red Cross.

“Surreal. It's like that kind of stuff doesn't happen to you, you know luckily we were not so bad,” said resident Ryan Carroll, who wasn't home at the time.

However, Carroll said his animals were at home at the time of the fire, including 11-week-old puppy, Lilly, who was still shaking several hours later.

“We told them she was there and they got her out,” said Carroll.

“She must have been scared,” asked Phillips.

“Oh she smells like smoke and we have two cats too, one of their tails got burnt,” said Carroll.

The American Red Cross can only help out for so long. After that, most of those displaced are unsure of where they'll live.

For Felician, she said she could end up on the streets with her children, ages 15 and 11.

If you would like to help the residents displaced by the fire, contact the American Red Cross at 858-309-1200.

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