Fire swept through a Huntington Beach apartment building late Monday, leaving four families homeless and causing minor injuries to five firefighters, fire officials said today.
Huntington Beach Battalion Chief Dennis Groat said the blaze apparently started in a laundry room of a four-unit building in the 16000 block of Kellogg Circle. The fire traveled up an interior wall before reaching the attic, he said.
"We were watching TV when we smelled something and heard a crackling noise in the walls," said 25-year-old Roger Swan, who lives on the first floor of the two-story building. "We yelled for people to come out of the building."
About 30 firefighters arrived on the scene at 11:17 p.m. and needed 50 minutes to put out the blaze. Groat said five firefighters suffered minor injuries when a small section of the attic caved in on them. They were treated at the scene.
Groat said at least 30% of the building was destroyed. Damage was estimated at $170,000.
"I work. I'm a single parent. . . . Everything's gone," 30-year-old Peggy Williams said. "I work so hard. . . ."
Williams, mother of two, said, "The first thing I did was get my kids out of there. They were sleeping at the time."
Red Cross officials provided shelter for the displaced residents of the building. Groat said the cause of the fire is under investigation.