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Cramped streets hamper response to five-alarm Bay Area apartment fire

October 17, 2013|By Jason Wells

A five-alarm fire tore through a 75-unit Bay Area apartment complex Thursday morning as firefighters struggled to access the site because of parked cars on narrow neighborhood streets.

The upper-level fire at the four-story building in Redwood City was reported about 5:30 a.m. About 45 minutes later, the roof had collapsed, sending flames shooting into the dark early morning sky.

Aerial television news footage showed dozens of fire engines parked blocks away from the blaze, hampered in their ability to reach the block because of narrow streets clogged with parked cars.

A fire department spokesman told ABC7 firefighters were engaged in a “direct interior attack” on the upper floor in an effort to keep the blaze from spreading to the lower floors.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities, but the fire spokesman said there were four known injuries: one serious, one moderate and two minor. All victims were transported to local hospitals.

He noted that as firefighters arrived on scene, residents were fleeing the building, “which is a good sign.”

Red Cross workers were also at the scene and had opened an evacuation center at the Red Morton Community Center.


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