LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A fire in a sixth-floor unit of a 15-story residential high rise in Long Beach Tuesday night caused extensive smoke and water damage, but no one was injured.
The fire in the 600 block of Ocean Boulevard was reported at 6:30 p.m..
Many residents said there were tense moments as the smoke and flames spread.
“My dad opened the door and he felt it was hot, so he had us go get towels and get them wet so we could breathe so we could have an air filter so we could cover our faces and go down,” said Seth Harrison, a resident.
Some said they didn’t hear alarms.
“There was no fire alarms. Nothing in the hallways,” said Yohance Harrison. “I opened the front door and smoke billows into my apartment, and no alarms were going off in the hallways whatsoever.”
Cameron Johnson said his mother was overwhelmed by smoke as they made their escape.
“The smoke was ridiculous, and she was crying because of smoke,” he said.
Neighbors said they believed a grease fire in an apartment on the sixth floor was the source of the blaze.
One person in the unit was able to escape, fire officials said.
At least 45 firefighters fought the two-alarm blaze and knocked down the flames in about 20 minutes.
The fire was kept to a single apartment unit. Fire department officials said it was being treated as an accident.
Fifteen people, including three children, were left without a place to stay the night due to smoke and water damage.
The Long Beach Fire Department said it will try to find the families accommodations through the Red Cross.
The fire department also said it will investigate whether the building’s fire alarms were working.
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)