San Leandro family burned out twice in a month


At the Bel Mark Apartments, five units were badly damaged, leaving more than a dozen people homeless. At 11 p.m. there were still a lot of people left out on the street waiting to see if they could get back into their homes. There were many families outside that had small children that were getting restless, since they were forced out of the complex by the fire at 6:30 in the evening.

The fire started in one of the penthouse apartments on the fourth floor of the complex, located in San Leandro.

"It was a pretty big fire. The flames were probably like six to eight feet high, flaming out of the windows and the floor was just all fire," said resident Henry Love.

More than 100 residents evacuated the 66-unit building around 6:30 p.m.

"If they didn't get to it soon or pretty soon, the way the flames were going, the floor probably would have fell down," said Love.

Distraught residents lined the streets, including a family ABC7 interviewed two weeks ago at another fire across town.

When asked if we spoke to him at the last fire, double fire victim Edgardo Machon said, "Yes, you talked to me at the last fire. I know, tell me about it."

Machon and his family lost many of their belongings when the Llewellen Apartments went up in flames on May 24.

"I want to run inside and unplug all my stuff and at least do something to try to recover some of my stuff that was getting damaged again," said Machon.

"'Oh, no. It's happening again!' That's what went through my mind," said double fire victim Julio Hernandez with a small chuckle. When asked why he was in such good spirits, he said, "Well, what can you do? Things happen."

A total of five apartment units were badly damaged and 14 people are homeless, but the Red Cross was arranging them a place to stay.

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