First of all, we’d like to commend the speed and skill of the Orange County Fire Authority in responding to this apartment block fire last night, where they rescued all tenants with only one serious burn injury. We also want to recognize the courageous construction crew that tried to save that woman who ended up with serious burns, but their 12-foot ladder was too short to help.
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One troubling thing we saw when we read the reports were the lack of fire alarms and smoke detectors that could have alerted the residents even sooner to the three-alarm fire that was called in at 8 p.m. last night. One resident’s experience highlights how alarms could have alerted residents to the fire before it progressed to dangerous levels.
Warren Longacre was using his computer when he heard people running and glass breaking. When he saw a naked man running down the street yelling “Call 911!” he realized that something was seriously wrong, although he had not heard any alarms or smelled any smoke. Longacre saw flames only 15 feet away from his balcony, and left the building immediately.
The fire at the Villa Grande apartment complex located at 7720 Crescent Avenue in Buena Park caused six people from the third floor to be treated for smoke inhalation, according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone, and the one woman who did suffer burns is at the UCI Medical Center in Orange for treatment.
“This could have been a real tragedy,” Stone said. “We recommend smoke alarms on every floor. The earlier you know (of smoke) the better.” There are many smoke alarms on the market that have long battery life—as long as 10 years! There’s no excuse not to have one.
Although fire investigators don’t yet know the cause of the fire that destroyed two units on the second and third floors in the back of the complex, they do not suspect foul play. Perhaps the fire was started by a space heater that someone may have turned on, as the weather has become seasonally chilly.
If your Orange County property, or the property of someone you know, has suffered fire or smoke damage, or water damage from the firefighters putting out the fire, please call us immediately to provide an estimate. There are many items that we can save, thanks to our advanced technology, and we can restore your home or business to how it was before the incident, at a price you can afford. We also know how to deal with your insurance company to help you see the full benefit of your coverage.