YUBA CITY (CBS13) — Yuba City Fire Department crews were called out to an apartment fire around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning at 1166 B Street.
Video shared by the Yuba City Firefighters’ Facebook page shows plumes of smoke and flames can be seen ripping through the complex.
Ceasar Dominguis told CBS13 it was a hectic scene after he helped a woman get out of an apartment filled with smoke.
“I grabbed what she had in front of her door and I scooted it a little way, maybe 10 feet away. And sat her down and I tried to go run upstairs right away. Just started getting my family,” Dominguis said.
The owner of the complex, Bill Hayward, said it will be a while before anyone is allowed back in.
“There’s four units that are really burnt out really bad. PG&E had to pull all of the meters, so we’ve got 12 units that are completely out. And we’re looking at a six to eight months’ project,” Hayward said.
While the fire heavily damaged the building, leaving the behind shattered glass, busted shingles and boarded up windows, Hayward and the fire department said all the residents escaped the flames unhurt.
The American Red Cross told CBS13 40 people were displaced, and 20 of them are now staying at a local hotel. We’re learning the aid that the Red Cross gives in these situations hasn’t changed with social distancing, but the way they give the aid has changed.
“We are adhering to social distancing rules. We are doing phone consultations with folks,” Stephen Walsh, a spokesperson for American Red Cross, said. “We are delivering food, in this situation, to the hotel in a manner where we don’t direct contact with the folks that are staying at the hotel.”
The agency also said that putting people in hotels helps ensure social distancing for large groups of displaced people. The Red Cross also said it will take care of those people in the hotel as long as needed and can help them find a new safe place if need be.
As Ceasar and his wife try to wash away the fire, he knows bouncing back will be twice as hard amid the coronavirus crisis. But, he said he can’t lose focus of what matters the most.
“We could have fell asleep five minutes before anybody even noticed the smell or heard an alarm or anything,” Dominguis said. “You just tell yourself to stay strong, I have a family to take care of and there’s no need to hold myself back on anything.”
Dominguis says he is thankful to still be employed during this pandemic. The fire department is still investigating what caused the fire.