11 injured in Watsonville hotel fire

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is one of only two trauma burn centers in the Bay Area, so three of the critically injured patients were airlifted there. Many of them barely escaped with their lives.

Eleven people were injured, five critically, when the Stag Hotel in Watsonville went up in flames around 5:30 in the evening. Witnesses say it was a chaotic scene as residents, faces black from the smoke, escaped with their lives. Police officers pulled one person from their window while neighbors came to help people on the second floor.

"We heard that somebody had a ladder that they were able to bring out which helped bring down two of the other people that were in the upstairs building," said Watsonville Fire Department spokesperson Rosa Meyer.

But there weren't enough ladders for everyone.

"It was a pretty intense fire so three of the people who were injured, one of them had jumped out of the building to escape the fire," said Meyer.

That man was already badly burned before he jumped from his second story window, landing on his back and breaking several bones.

The Stag Hotel is a transitional facility for substance abuse patients undergoing treatment along with others who are reentering society after doing jail time.

Firefighters had the flames out by 6:30 p.m. and they believe it started in the front office of the hotel.

Again, 11 were injured, five critically after a hotel fire. There were no fatalities, but some of these people were severely burned.

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