'I thought I was going to die:' Neighbors injured jumping to safety after man burns wife's apartment

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The sounds of screaming and crying, then windows breaking interrupted Serenity Cabrera's Saturday night.

She barely walked away from the trouble brewing in the apartment below hers.

"(Because) the TV blew up and everything went up," she said. "My dad opened the door and we saw the fire on the stairs, so my mom and dad ran to come get me, but we already knew. So, me, my brother, and my friend, Yvette, all ran out. And then we couldn't go down the stairs because it already had fire on it. So we all had to jump off the balcony."

Serenity injured her knee, her friend hurt her legs, her father broke his ankle, and the jump hurt her mom, too.

The family had just moved into the central Fresno apartment, but the entire place is a loss now.

Water from firefighters trying to put out the fire damaged everything the flames didn't touch.

The scene is much the same in all four apartments on Sunday morning. But the tragedy now shared by a few families developed in just one.

Police say 38-year-old Jose Cisneros committed domestic violence against his estranged wife.

He recently stabbed the tires on her pickup truck and threw a beer bottle through her passenger window.

And he kept coming back even after police told him to stay away.

"We had received three calls here at this location. The first one was for the original domestic violence. Then, he showed up yesterday and broke into the apartment and he took off before officers arrived. And then he went back today," said Fresno Police Lt. Charlie Chamalbide.

Police caught Cisneros when he tried to leave through a back window.

He'll make his home in jail for a while, but everybody else who lived in the apartment complex will have to find somewhere new to call home.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 7997233.
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