27 residents displaced by fire in Hayward

A two-alarm fire at a Hayward apartment building early this morning displaced 27 people.
November 12, 2013 12:33:27 PM PST
There were some terrifying moments as ferocious flames sent families running for their lives in the middle of the night from a burning Hayward apartment building. Neighbors warned other neighbors as the flames raced through the units, it was so bad, two people jumped from a second floor window, at the Whitman Green apartment complex.

Work crews are trying to figure what needs to be done to get at least some of the apartments ready for the residents to move back in, but in the end, everyone was just happy no one was seriously hurt or even killed in this fire.

There's no good time for a fire, but 2:45 a.m. may be the worst and most dangerous time. More than two-dozen people were sleeping in eight units when flames erupted. The flames were huge, the smoke blinding, but somehow everyone made it out alive.

"Everybody was like 'get out, get out' and then there was just smoke covering the whole apartment. We couldn't see a thing," said fire victim Pryana Mishra.

Inside one of the two destroyed units you could see just how devastating the flames can be to a building and possessions. Nothing was left, except for water and an overwhelming smell of smoke. A total of 27 people were evacuated from their homes including eight children.

A baby escaped with her mother, while her father and uncle had to jump to safety.

"When she saw the smoke she crawled through the passage and after that she hold the baby and she slide all the way down to the steps. That's how she was able to get the baby out," said Shiv Maharaj, niece escaped fire.

"My sister was able to crawl down the stairs with the baby. But by the time me and my brother in law made it to the door it was too late. The smoke was already filling up the apartment. So we had to jump off the balcony," said Ritesh Vhan, escaped fire.

Vhan had some cuts and a minor knee injury but didn't need to go to the hospital. He was the only person injured. Sadly a family's pet dog died in the flames. Seventeen of the 27 people displaced by the fire are getting help from the Red Cross. Many of the residents expressed their fear of trying to escape their burning homes, but now that the flames are out, another feeling has taken over.

"Are you feeling lucky you made it out okay?" asked ABC7's Matt Keller.

"I'm thanking God that I made it out safe," said Bharat Mishra, escaped fire.

Firefighters believe the fire started accidently in the kitchen.


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