Intense Fire Caught on Camera

By Greg Bledsoe
|  Wednesday, Jul 7, 2010  |  Updated 10:04 AM PDT
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A resident ran outside his apartment and started recording the battle to contain a fire to one apartment unit in <a title=Imperial Beach on July 6." />

A resident ran outside his apartment and started recording the battle to contain a fire to one apartment unit in Imperial Beach on July 6.

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Fire shot out of an Imperial Beach apartment complex Tuesday and the battle to contain the flames to one unit was caught on tape by one of the residents.

Forty firefighters arrived to the complex at Palm Avenue and Ocean Lane to fight what they called a flashover.

"And if the doors and windows are shut, it'll build up a lot of heat and once you open a door, that introduces oxygen," said Imperial Beach Fire Chief Tom Clark.

What witnesses, and firefighters say was so impressive here was the heat of this fire.

Tim O’Neal, who lives just a few doors down, ran outside, saw smoke and started recording with his video camera.

"I saw the development of the flame,” O’Neal said. “ It was getting hot."

Firefighters got everyone out safely and had the fire out within 20 minutes. The building itself may have saved the rest of the apartments.

"The balcony kept it from going into the 3rd floor apartment," said Clark.

While two units suffered major damage, Tim O’Neal, and a lot of his neighbors realize it could have been a lot worse.

"Those first responders, they really did us a service today. So, we do want to thank them," he said.

A faulty drier caused the fire. Four people were displaced from their homes. None of them was injured, but one pet did die.

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