Several people were injured when they jumped from windows in an East Village fire.
Fire destroyed the second story in a three-story residential hotel on 9th and Island around 2 a.m. Monday.
Firefighters say they found thick smoke when they arrived at the Hotel Heritage that officials described as an extended-stay hotel.
“It was pretty scary, very scary. I had to walk down a hallway filled with smoke and I was bending over and I got outside and I could breathe again,” said resident Bob Russum.
He said some people jumped out the side windows along the alley.
Six people were transported to a nearby hospital. Three of them for injuries suffered after jumping from windows. Three others suffered smoke inhalation according to San Diego Fire Rescue spokesperson Maurice Luque.
Luque said as the fire progressed, there was a lot of panic among the occupants of the hotel.
“We know the fire was accidental. We know that from talking to the person who was living in the unit where the fire originated,” Luque said. “There are a couple of possibilities as to what caused the fire.”
It took fire crews 20 minutes to put out the fire. The first floor suffered a lot of water damage officials said.
More than a dozen people have been displaced. The San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross has arrived on scene to help those who can't go back inside their rooms.
Check back for updates on this developing story.