CERES (CBS13) — A fast-moving fire forced a Ceres family to jump to safety from their second-floor window.
The fire destroyed a dozen apartments along Richland Avenue on Monday, prompting stories of survival.
“The mom was just yelling out the window, ‘Just catch my baby, just catch my baby,’” said Sarah Benge.
The desperate calls came from a family trapped inside their second-floor apartment by the flames. The man grabbed his baby, and with his wife by his side, they ran to their only way out—the bedroom window.
“They opened up the window they had a baby in their hands I said throw me the baby,” said Mark Selditch.
The father would lean down and let his baby go, where she was caught and the couple could leap to safety.
In minutes, flames and smoke would devour 12 units at the Ceres apartment complex. Many people were left with no time and had to run out with the clothes on their backs.
“Somebody opened the door and it was the Modesto Police telling me to hurry up and get out there’s a fire,” said Jasmine Mills.
Firefighters say it was an intense fight from the beginning with triple-digit temperatures causing the flames to spread quickly and exhausting crews battling the blaze.
Investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire that likely started in a storage area.