Two people suffered smoke inhalation tonight in a fire in a two-story apartment building in Rossmoor, but the situation could have been worse if not for two off-duty law enforcement officers who helped evacuate residents.
About 45 firefighters responded to the fire, which was reported around 8:45 p.m. in the 12000 block of Montecito Road, said Capt. Marc Stone of the Orange County Fire Authority. The fire was knocked down in about 30 minutes and contained to the unit where it started, Stone said.
The off-duty officers, one from the California Highway Patrol and the other from the Long Beach Police Department, are roommates who live in an apartment above the unit where the fire broke out, they told a news photographer at the scene.
They put wet towels over their faces and went door to door telling residents to get out of the building, they said. One woman who suffered from smoke inhalation was taken to a hospital for treatment. Another was treated at the scene, Stone said.
``It could have been worse,'' Stone said.
Firefighters from the Huntington Beach Fire Department assisted in putting out the blaze, Stone said.
Some residents were displaced and were being assisted by the American Red Cross, but Stone did not know how many. The cause of the fire was under investigation, Stone said, but food left cooking on a stove likely sparked the blaze, according to broadcast reports.
-City News Service