Church members escape harm in apartment fire Stephen Wall, Staff Writer Article Launched: 04/30/2007 12:00:00 AM PDT
No one was injured in the blaze, which was reported at 7:21 p.m. in the Indian Creek Apartments in the 1900 block of West College Avenue, said Tom Rubio, spokesman for the San Bernardino Fire Department.
About 25 firefighters put out the two-alarm fire in 15 minutes.
The fire is under investigation, and arson investigators were on the scene with the department's arson dog, Rubio said.
The American Red Cross provided housing assistance to the occupant of the downstairs apartment. It was gutted, said Fire Department spokesman Jason Serrano.
The people in the upstairs unit were Jehovah's Witnesses who were wrapping up a party when the fire broke out.
"We were upstairs saying our goodbyes standing by the stairs," said Lynn Thompson, who was visiting the upstairs apartment. "I said, `What's that smell?' Someone said it was just a barbecue. I said, `It doesn't smell like a barbecue."'
Thompson said her group was lucky to escape the flames.
"If we didn't get out when we did,
we would have been trapped," said Thompson, a San Bernardino resident. "I'm hurt and numb and scared."
Serrano said the fire caused about $175,000 in damage to the building, plus a $5,000 loss in personal contents.
The upstairs unit sustained interior smoke damage and exterior fire damage, Serrano said.