Fire destroys 4 apartment units in Madera

FRESNO, Calif.

The fire destroyed four apartment units but Madera City and County Firefighters were able to save another four. It happened around 8 a.m. Sunday at the Madera West Apartments on South Madera near Almond.

Many neighbors began pounding on doors and yelling for people to get out of their apartments. We talked with one woman who says she had just enough time to get her son and run from the flames.

Piles of smoldering ash left over after a fire burns this apartment building to its frame Sunday morning.

Winifred Griffin watched the building burn. She says the first thing she heard was a loud explosion. "It was like a propane tank went off. So we just started hollering, get out get out. Get your purses and babies, get out."

"Everybody just started running out. They're like fire! Fire! There's a fire," Cintia Sandoval said.

Neighbors ran from door to door warning each other about the fire. "The first thing I did was run to my bedroom, get my son, he was asleep. I just pulled him off the bed and ran outside with him."

Sandoval says she lost everything. She used to live in one of these units, which are now just charred walls and support beams.

Four of the 8 units in the building are gutted. The other four suffered little to no damage but there is no power to the building. "We're just grateful that no one was hurt."

This isn't the first time a building in this complex was destroyed by fire. In march of 2006, a fire quickly burned through the attic, destroying 9 units.

We're told the Red Cross is helping the families find temporary housing. As for the cause of the fire, its still under investigation.

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