By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
At least seven people were rescued from an early morning fire in a three-story apartment building Monday in West Oakland, California, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Fire officials said at least one person was feared dead inside. The building housed a drug rehabilitation center.
Oakland Fire Department Battalion Chief Erik Logan said firefighters used ladder trucks to rescue the seven occupants from the blaze. Three of the occupants were treated for smoke inhalation and were in critical condition.
Logan estimated that 50 to 60 people lived in the old building. Initial reports could not confirm the whereabouts or condition of the other tenants.
Logan said, “When firefighters first went in, they saw what might have looked like a body on the third floor, but the flames were so intense they had to retreat.” He said the fire broke out just before 6 a.m. About two hours later, Logan reported that the blaze was contained in the building.
Fantazhia LaTonda, one of the residents who was evacuated, moved into the building two weeks ago. Her apartment is on the third floor, next door to where she said the fire started.
“I woke up to get a snack and I went to lay back down and I looked out the window and I saw sparks and I kept hearing crackling,” LaTonda told the Chronicle.
She and her boyfriend attempted to get out through the door to their room, but the door handles were too hot to touch. They then opened the curtains of a window and began waving outside to attract the firefighters.
“I was worried we weren't going to get out. Just burning. That's not the way I want to die. Burning,” LaTonda said. Firefighters grabbed the couple and pulled them to safety on the fire escape.
About the Author
David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. David’s 2015 book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever,” has just been published in paperback by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.