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Fire Chars Apartments in Anaheim

No injuries reported in a blaze on South Brookhurst Street. Two units are gutted, 10 others uninhabitable.

June 12, 2004|Erin Ailworth | Times Staff Writer

A Friday fire at an Anaheim apartment complex gutted two units and left several families homeless, authorities said.

No one was injured in the three-alarm blaze on South Brookhurst Street, which firefighters had under control in about an hour, said Maria Sabol, a spokeswoman for the Fire Department. Damage was estimated between $700,000 to $1 million.

Suheir Kilani said she was at her dining table when she smelled what she thought was a neighbor's barbecue.

The smoke eventually drove the 37-year-old physician's assistant and her brother from Kilani's third-floor apartment. She said they ran down the hall, with flames on their right as they banged on doors, yelling: "Fire! Get out!"

"I walked through smoke, and through the fire," Kilani said, before she made it outside. Her 18-month-old cat, Casper, and a neighbor took refuge on a balcony before being rescued.

"It was awful," said Chris Adams, 31, who has lived on the first floor of the Grand Resort apartments for three years. "Some lady was trapped on the third-floor balcony -- they brought her down with a ladder.... It was like fire and smoke behind her."

The blaze, which officials said probably started about 2:45 p.m. in a storage room full of mattresses, gutted two apartments and left 22 others with moderate or minor fire, smoke and water damage.

Red Cross volunteers set up a waiting area in a banquet room at the nearby Linbrook Bowl bowling alley, where they provided water, dinner and diapers to more than 60 residents waiting to learn if their homes were among the 10 left uninhabitable. Those residents will be put up at a motel.

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