Fresno apartment fire displaces four families

FRESNO, Calif.

Four people living in the building are without a home. Authorities said two of them were taken to the hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

Smoke poured from the roof of this five-unit apartment building. Fire crews worked quickly to put the flames out -- but not before one unit was destroyed by the fire. Investigators say this is where the fire started.

"Four of the five are heavily smoke damaged. The fifth has minor smoke damage. The good thing is everyone got out okay," said Capt. Tim Fulmer with the Fresno Fire Department.

Many of the residents escaped the fire because the units have working smoke detectors. Also, Gwendolyn Pearson, says when she saw the flames she jumped into action. Pearson suffers from severe arthritis, but she didn't let that stop her from rushing over to pound on neighbor's doors. "All I saw was lights. And I thought it was somebody in there asleep. All I was thinking about was saving somebody's life."

Vicki Carter is now without a place to live for the moment. She arrived home as the fire began to spread. "I just came home, came around the corner and there were just 6-8 foot flames coming out of Apartment E, just two doors down from mine."

Fire fighters say it's too early to know what caused the fire. They also said several people actually tried to get back into their apartments even after fire fighters arrived on scene -- which firefighters warn is extremely dangerous.

The Red Cross is assisting the displaced people.

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