Dozens evacuated after 2-alarm fire burns Sunnyvale apartment complex

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Tenants of a Sunnyvale apartment building had to evacuate Friday when the building caught fire. (KGO-TV )

Tenants of a Sunnyvale apartment building had to evacuate Friday when the building caught fire.

A second floor resident says the fire broke out in the unit directly across the hall. She said the smoke smelled like burnt food, that was possibly left unattended on the stove, because no one was home at the time.

Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety units declared it a two-alarm fire to help with evacuations. More than 30 people had to be led out of the building, including a mother of two children, a one-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son. As the fire spread down the hallway, they were stranded on their balcony facing Sunnyvale-Saratoga Road.

"You just get down the ladder, try to do it as safe as possible, as quick as possible, and make sure the kids are down. They grabbed them first so it was fine," said Shalondra Rose, a second floor resident.

Two residents were transported to a nearby hospital with unknown injuries. Several pets in the building were saved by firefighters.

Smoke poured out of the structure. Although there was a light breeze at the time, Capt. Sean Ahearn said weather conditions did not hamper containment or accelerate the spread of fire.

The resident across the hall said she witnessed the building manager go into the unit on fire and try to put it out.

"The fire was really going, and there was a lot of black smoke coming out of number 42 apartment. He tried to shut the fire off with his T-shirt. He couldn't do it, so the manager called the fire department, and the fire department came," Alice Larimore who witnessed the fire.

The Red Cross is helping with temporary shelter.

Residents were standing on the sidewalk Friday waiting to hear from public safety officials if and when they can return to their units to reclaim their possessions.
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