A four-alarm apartment fire that destroyed dozens of residences sent two people to the hospital, including a firefighter.
The fire took place at the Mayan Palms Apartments on the 7500-block of Hunnicut Road.
Fire investigators said the preliminary cause of the fire was careless use of candles in an apartment where the electricity was shut off.
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“I heard someone banging on my door real, real hard and thought, ‘Who’s banging on my door?” said Juanita Godita who is now displaced. “So, I went back to the bed and my boyfriend was up saying, ‘Let’s get out of here, let’s get out of here.’”
Amid all the destruction and the dozens of displaced residents, NBC 5 managed to find some good news at the scene. While going around and helping bang on doors to get people up and out, Regina Whitaker witnessed some fellow residents doing more to try to save lives.
“They were taking their hands and breaking the glass and they pulled that fence to help get a disabled man out,” said Whitaker. “We were just trying to get as many people out as we can from here and in the back. There were people with a baby. They had to drop a baby down.”
Tori Phillips, who happens to love Superman and was wearing a Superman hoodie, caught the baby.
“I’d seen they needed help and they were scared to come down with their baby and I was like, 'I’m right here, I’ll catch ‘em.' So that’s what I did and then another dude helped get his wife down and then he jumped down and got them to safety,” said Phillips.
Phillips is among those who lost his apartment unit but the good Samaritan said he’ll move on from that. The baby he found momentarily in his arms this morning is a way bigger deal to him than the things he lost.
At one point fire investigators thought three people were unaccounted for including the apartment complex security guard. The security guard showed back up and after thorough searches of the damaged units with cadaver dogs.
Investigators determined there was no one else missing.