Residents Run to Escape Fire in City Heights

By Sherene Tagharobi and R. Stickney
|  Monday, Dec 16, 2013  |  Updated 11:57 AM PDT
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NBC 7's Sherene Tagharobi reports from the scene of a fire that spread quickly from a detached garage to an apartment complex, forcing families to flee.

NBC 7's Sherene Tagharobi reports from the scene of a fire that spread quickly from a detached garage to an apartment complex, forcing families to flee.

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Fire Threatens Apartment Residents

This is video from the fire on Copeland Avenue in City Heights on Monday morning.
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A fire that started in a detached garage spread into a nearby apartment building and damaged two units Monday leaving eight people without a place to stay. 

The fire next to an apartment complex at 43 Copeland Avenue in City Heights started just before 7 a.m. and produced a large plume of smoke that could be seen for miles.

Those living in the complex went door to door waking everyone up and telling them to get out.

“We were running, trying to get everybody up to get out of the building,” said Veronica Gil.

Gil lives in the complex with her two-year-old son.

“It's scary, stressful, trying to think of everything right before you're running out the door, what else do you need but you have no time to think you just have to run,” she told NBC 7.

Officials said the garage was destroyed and at least two apartments are damaged but there were no injuries.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

“That much fire that much heat and a close proximity of structures, we do have a chance for fire to extend to those exposures and that's what happened,” said San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Dan Froelich.

The San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross has stepped in to help provide a place to stay to the two adults and six children displaced by the fire.

At the same time firefighters were battling the structure fire, San Diego police were on scene of what appeared to be a brush fire at 33rd Street and Imperial.

A line of trees were on fire along the trolley tracks, very close to electrical wires.

San Diego police patrol cars were controlling traffic along State Route 15 and market.

There was no indication the two fires were connected.

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