Fire Tears Through Apartment Complex in Tustin; Two People Injured


TUSTIN (CNS) - One person was unaccounted for this morning following a five-alarm blaze that caused the roof of a two-story apartment building in Tustin to collapse and displaced about five dozen residents, two of whom suffered smoke inhalation.

The fire was reported at 3:01 a.m. at Chatham Village apartments at 15751 Williams St., near McFadden Avenue, and wasn't fully extinguished until 8:04 a.m., according to the Orange County Fire Authority.

One resident was missing and “62 have been confirmed accounted for and checked in with the Red Cross,” OCFA Capt. Tony Bommarito said about 10:30 a.m.

Bommarito said the first firefighters on the scene encountered heavy fire on the first floor that quickly extended to the second floor and the attic.

“That's how that fire traveled so quickly,” he said. “We had roof collapse in about 24 minutes, which is very quick for a building of this size.”

The entire building is “pretty much a loss,” as even the lower units not affected by flames are “uninhabitable” due to water and smoke damage, Bommarito said, adding that about 120 firefighters battled the flames.

One of two adult residents found suffering from smoke inhalation was taken to a hospital and the other was treated at the scene.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

Police went unit to unit to alert residents as the flames quickly spread through the complex, which has 38 units.

“I woke up and I looked out the back yard and there was (flames). The cops were banging on our door, saying, `Get out, there's a fire,'" 13-year- old Angelina Gonzalez told NBC4. “All our stuff was in there. I got my dogs, and I ran out."

The Tustin Police Department announced about 5 a.m. that displaced residents could meet with American Red Cross workers at 1952 E. McFadden Ave. in Santa Ana. “Residents in need will then be relocated to a more permanent location in the city of Tustin,” according to the department's Twitter post.

McFadden Avenue was closed in both directions at Williams Street until further notice.

Photo: Getty Images


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