BELMONT, Calif. --
A man raced through a wall of deadly flames to escape a two-alarm blaze racing through a Belmont apartment house early Tuesday and then caught his pregnant wife after she dove out of a two-story window, authorities said.
The unidentified man injured his ankle breaking the fall of his wife, who was six-month pregnant. She was also taken to the hospital for observation, authorities said,
The early morning blaze resulted in six people being injured in all, including two apartment dwellers who jumped from their second story balconies to escape the deadly flames.
The two-alarm fire broke out at 2515 Carlmont Drive minutes after 3 a.m., a San Mateo County fire dispatcher said.
Lance Wu was asleep in his apartment when he was awakened by the smell of smoke.
"I remember waking up and smelling smoke so I got up," he told KTVU. "I could see it was smoky in my room. I went to the front door and opened it a bit -- a wall of black smoke just came rushing in the door."
Wu quickly searched for his pet cat, finding it hiding under his bed and ran out to the balcony to be rescued by firemen.
"I'm just glad that my cat is okay and I'm okay," he said. "All the other things in the apartment can be replaced."
Wu also told of acts of heroism by other apartment dwellers as the flames raced through the building.
"I heard of one guy who backed his truck up to the balcony so that others could jump down safely," he said.
Two people were hospitalized with smoke inhalation and two others suffered broken bones from their second story escapes.
An evacuation center was opened by the American Red Cross at the Belmont Senior and Community Center located at 20 Twin Pines Lane, according to spokeswoman Patricia Peper.
Preliminary reports indicate that approximately 40 to 50 residents were displaced by the fire and were being bused to the temporary shelter, Peper said.
"Things are still pretty crazy over there," Peper said.
Authorities said the cause of the pre-dawn fire was still under investigation Tuesday afternoon.
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