By Anna Giles

LOCKEFORD (CBS13) — More than a dozen apartments in San Joaquin County were destroyed in a fire, leaving families with small children homeless Wednesday night.

The community is now coming together to raise money and gather items for these families so they can start over.

Witnesses said the fire moved quickly and destroyed almost everything in its path.

CBS13 spoke with neighbors who helped rescue people. They said some of the residents were forced to jump out of second-story windows.

When Casey Lara arrived on the scene Wednesday night, she said she struggled to locate her sister and nephews.

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“I tried to hop the fence to get in and it just exploded,” Lara said.

From room to room, Lara said there was one explosion after another.

“There were people jumping from the windows from the second floor. It was intense,” Lara said.

Dozens of neighbors stepped in to help as soon as they saw the flames.

“We were just breaking all of the windows at that point no matter what. Just letting any of the smoke come out,” said Pablo Munoz.

Munoz said he went window to window calling to people, trying to tell them to get out.

“There was a lady trying to jump out of her window but she was wanting to go back and get more stuff and I’m like, ‘You need to jump,’” he said.

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Fire crews said 10 people were injured in this fire, and amazingly, no one was killed.

Community leaders said anything from shoes and cell phone chargers are needed. Bigger items, such as bedding, will be helpful down the road.

“You’re worried about the necessities but then you get a stable and permanent place and have nothing. People tend to forget after a few weeks that they are still going through this,” Lara said.

Fire crews are still investigating what caused this fire.


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