ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — A five-alarm fire at a senior living facility Sunday in Orange prompted officials to evacuate the structure.
The fire erupted at Palmyra Senior Apartment Homes on South Glassell Street Sunday afternoon just before 1 p.m.
Firefighters helped residents climb down ladders to safety as they took to second-floor balconies to escape the smoke.
Resident Mary Valdez for a special delivery of photos from a firefighter when most of the rest of her possessions had burned. “Thall that was left of everything i have — those pictures,” she said. “That’s my first holy communion picture.”
Her great-granddaughter was visiting Sunday when the fire started. The 8-year-old got lost in the smoke.
“My great-grandma, she came down there to see if I was there,” Kira Cook said, “and she led me back the way i was supposed to go.”
Gerry Phillips, 84, had to leave without her best friend, but firefighters found her cat hours later.
“I was afraid that she might have gotten out, but she didn’t and they found her and that’s just wonderful,” Phillips said.
No serious injuries were reported. Three seniors were treated a hospitals for minor smoke inhalation.
All 70 people who lives in the center will have to wait to see if and when they can return to their homes
The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation.