My Apartment Building Caught on Fire

United States
March 4, 2013 4:57am CST
I live in housing for seniors and disabled. A fire erupted in one of the apartments during the middle of the night. We had to be evacuated. I was in a sound sleep like most of the other residents. There were sirens from all over and persons banging on the doors "Fire, Fire, everyone out". Everyone got out fine, even the pets. The cause of the fire was an electric blanket. That apartment is destroyed. The resident lost everything but she is fine. Other apartments have smoke and fire damage. Mine fared well but the fire department kicked in my door. I locked it when i left. The fire department went door to door. If they could not get in, they broke the door down. I am not alone. Other residents were away and their doors have been kicked in. Fire trucks came from all over along with police and EMS. We have 99 residents. The fire department feared that the fire was going to get into the attic and spread. It was quite an evacuation. There are persons who are hearing impaired, in wheel chairs, elderly with memory loss and those using oxygen along with ordinary seniors like me. The fire department did a great job. So did all other emergency services.
2 people like this
12 responses
@jkct02 (2859)
• Malaysia
4 Mar 13
It is good to know that no one is hurt in the incident. Fire in residential buildings are scary, especially when it happens in the middle of the night. It just shows how important it is for the emergency services to be well trained to cope with these incidents so that more lives and properties can be saved. I had similar experience once when I was just a little boy. I can still remember vividly the beat of my heart when I was taken from my bed to go three levels downstairs. It was chaotic and many people carried their belongings out from the apartment. Luckily the fire was put out in time before it spread out to the next unit. The shout of "FIRE" in the middle of the night is frightening to hear.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Mar 13
It was all so unreal. I was in a deep sleep and then there were sirens. But that is nothing unusual in my complex and area. Because I live in senior housing, we often have ambulances come. I am also close to a hospital so again, I am used to ambulances and sirens in the area. Then I heard knocking and banging and "fire". I think that I thought it was all a dream or nightmare. I was forced out of my sleep. It continued to be so unreal. Then I opened the door and there was smoke and fire department personnel and people leaving their apartments. I put on a coat over my sleepwear and grabbed my purse and iPad and left. We were all very lucky. Fire is a very scary thing and can be so very dangerous and deadly.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164777)
• Garden Grove, California
5 Mar 13
hi just remembered something sort of werid back a number of years when we lived in Costa Mesa.w WE watched as a small house was was totally engulfed in flames.. Several of us watched as the fire dept finally got there we learned the owners were at work. This one heavy set woman said" I know its awful but also look how beautiful the flames are". I and the others jus looked at her and left q ickly. . The next day a couple of officials were searching the remains looking for clues as to how it started. And it was arson. Someone had just started the blaze with gasoline all over the floor of the house.somehow they triggered the blaze without getting too close. I caught the eye of one of the searchers and told him about the woman named Wilma Crane who said"I know its awful but look its so beautiful all those flames.":He asked where she lived and I gave him her address just two houses up from the burned out house.. Later in the week I read in our daily paper that she had been arrested for arson and she pled guilty to arson,.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 13
There are firebugs out there who like to start fires and then watch them burn. I have also read of firebugs who start fires and then become the rescuers. I am wondering how this fire started. The residents says that she plugged in her electric blanket and left the room. Very soon afterwards, she heard her smoke alarm and went back into the bedroom to find her bed on fire.
@Raine38 (9032)
• United States
5 Mar 13
Oh no, that's terrible! Good thing nobody's hurt and there's not a lot of damage on the apartments. Will someone help on the repair of the doors that have been kicked down? Anyway, they're just doors, they're replaceable.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Mar 13
My door was replaced yesterday. It was a big job taking hours. I never realized how difficult it is to out in a door. The management company has sent additional personnel to help with clean up and repairs. One apartment is ruined and there are a few others that have smoke and water damage. Some residents are still without electricity and none of us have hot water. For me, it is all ok.
@cttolledo (4091)
• Batangas, Philippines
5 Mar 13
Thanks god you are safe now.That is the problem with so much electronic gadgets brought to us by technologies. Though electronic gadgets are good since it helps us to make our life easy but we cannot deny the fact that those are very risky since it is given that any thing that operated by electricity is dangerous. so I think we ( users) must be careful in buying and using those thing.. Do not buy cheap or imitated products. Let's be safe always!
• United States
5 Mar 13
I am thinking that also. Do we need all these things that plug in? Did this resident really need an electric blanket? No, she wanted one but did not need one. We have heat and the costs are relatively reasonable. Our apartments are comfortable and warm. I would be curious as to what type of electric blanket she had. It has probably been destroyed in the fire so there is no way to investigate the it. Her apartment is gone -- everything destroyed. If she had not plugged in her electric blanket, there would not have been a fire, and etc. etc. etc.
@mariaperalta (19096)
• Mexico
4 Mar 13
Sorry to hear that.. hope everyone is alright. i always worry about these things happening. Take care. God bless.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Mar 13
Everyone is fine, even the pets. I do not think that anyone can fully prepare themselves for a disaster like a fire. I am glad thing things did not go terribly badly. It could have been so much worse.
• India
4 Mar 13
Good to hear that fire was put out in time. Emergency services do a great job in such situations. Thanks to their timely intervention and quick service. Don't worry God watches over all of us.
• United States
4 Mar 13
The fire department and police department did a great job. This is a three story building of over 100 residents. Many are in wheelchairs or mobility impaired. Many are very elderly. Most are medicated. Everyone was evacuated quickly. Emergency services have been very sensitive and kind to the residents. Red Cross is here assisting those who have been displaced.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 13
Thank G-d you are ok! It is never a dull moment with you! Take Care.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 13
I am grateful. Thank you for checking in and your kind note.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Mar 13
What are friends for?
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
6 Mar 13
Oh, I feel so bad for the poor person that lost everything that she owns. However, I do think that it is a great thing that she is okay. As far as your door being kicked in, I know that is something that really is an inconvenience for you and for all of the others that had this happen as well, but I do think that it is really good to know that the fire department was thorough in making sure that there were no more signs of fire in the building. Also, it is good that they had different ways of letting people know that there was a fire in the building.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Mar 13
We were all very fortunate and I have been most impressed with my fellow neighbors, emergency services, management, etc etc etc. I would hate to be in the position of the woman who lost everything but she, herself, is safe. I hope that she had insurance. She has either been put up in a hotel or is with her children. Her apartment is very unlivable and will be so for a long long time. Fires are so devastating. My door continues to be worked on. Parts of it are getting painted to blend with the other doors in our building. Our electricity is on but we are still without heat or hot water because the gas had to be turned off. That is being worked on. Half the building is empty because so many residents have gone to stay with family members for now.
@Hatley (164777)
• Garden Grove, California
5 Mar 13
wow oh my G p;il I hope you are okay,that has always been my fear as we always lived in an upstairs apt. I am glad to hear nobody was really hurt. How frightening that must have been for all of you.I have always wondered if electric blankets could catch on fire and that proved it.I am proud of your emerency people as that was a horrendous task with so many elderly people in all stages of health problems.
• United States
5 Mar 13
The evacuation went so well. I was really impressed with my community as to how calm and collected they were. These are seasoned people who have all been through a lot on their lives. They do not always behave well but they came together during this crises. They were caring, supportive and on their best behavior. The fire department, police and Red Cross were wonderful. It has left me with really good feelings.
@bao10560 (21)
• China
5 Mar 13
It is nice that all of you are ok.I can't imagine a fire in the apartment,especially at midnight.I have never experenced such things.If it happens to me,I am quite sure I will get scared seriously.In a word,no one hurt is fortunate.Property can be earned.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 13
The fire began soon after 1 a.m. It was all unreal and surreal. But it all ended well and life in my complex is slowly returning to normal, if there is such a thing as normal. Repair crews were on the scene all day from very early morning yesterday and will be back again today. A fire is difficult to imagine. There has to actually be a fire to know what it is like. Develop an emergency preparedness plan and keep all your important papers in one place. Do not forget to take your papers if you have time.
@SIMPLYD (77450)
• Philippines
5 Mar 13
It's good to hear that you are safe , my friend. And it's a good thing that you were awakened easily by the shouts and banging. I hope you can get your things in order to start with again.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 13
I was exhausted all day yesterday but I was still able to go to my p.t. job. A new door was put in yesterday. My life would be back to normal if we had hot water. I guess the gas had to be turned off and we have no hot water. Yes, the shouts and banging awakened me out of a sound sleep. It was a rude awakening but I am glad that I was awakened. There was some problems with awakening a few of the residents. One woman had taken out her hearing aid plus had taken a sleeping pill. Many of the residents are hearing impaired and are medicated because of health issues.
@bjc66bjc (6745)
• United States
5 Mar 13
OMG....I am so so sorry for the disruption, and I am glad that everyone was taken out safely...fortunately I have never been in a building fire and just don't know the feeling but I can imagine the feeling of lost.. Take care and continued blessings....
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164777)
• Garden Grove, California
5 Mar 13
hi bjcv just remembering one apt complex we stayed in the manager insisted on doing his own plumbing repairs inside the result was he caught some beams on fire and had to call the fire department.s o here came the fire men dragging this huge hose and cut a big hunk out of our wall to pour water in to stop the fire., After it was out they put an enormous fan in the room to suck out the smoke and fumes from our closet but our clothes reeked of smoke odor for several weeks. They had left the huge fan on for several hours bu t it did not really do much good. That was as close as I have ever been to a fire of our own wand that was too close.WEhad to rep air o ur wall ourselves .
@mensab (4208)
• Philippines
4 Mar 13
thanks heaven that everyone is safe and ok. it is difficult to imagine an emergency happening in your midst, the panic and fear of life and loss of properties might come hand in hand, but in the end, what matters most is that everyone is alive. the properties can be compensated if they are insured.
• United States
4 Mar 13
It is most important that no one was injured. Nor were any of the pets injured. For seniors and disabled, pets are very important. I do not know if the residents who lost property were insured. We live in housing for lower income seniors and disabled. The residents might not have had the money for insurance even though it is not very much. I don't. Of course, the building has insurance but that does not cover individual residents. My door is already being worked on. Management and maintenance have a lot of work ahead of them.