OAKLAND, Calif. --
Three people were killed and two others injured early Thursday after a two-alarm fire triggered by a jerry-rigged power source roared through a four-unit Oakland apartment house, authorities said.
An Oakland fire dispatcher said the fire was reported at 1:55 a.m. in the apartment building located at 1756 82nd Avenue. Arriving units, found flames shooting out of one of the units and the residents of another unit outside with leg injuries suffered when they used a blanket to escape the fire but fell to the ground.
Firefighters quickly deployed to battle the flames but could not save a mother, her 3-year-old daughter and a male friend who were in the apartment on fire.They were taken to Highland Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. They have not been identified.
A neighbor told KTVU that the deceased man had brought the woman's 7-year-old daughter out to safety but then raced back into the flames to rescue the other two.
Two residents of another unit – a 59-year-old Blanca Garcia and her 19-year-old daughter Jennifer Berrera -- were taken from the scene to the hospital for treatment of leg injuries suffered in their fall from the flames.
Fire officials said a family of four who were illegally living in another unit were able to escape unharmed and were being taken care by the Red Cross. A fourth resident of the building was not at home at the time of the early morning blaze.
Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Eleanor Bolin-Chew told KTVU that the blaze appeared to be sparked by extension cords being used to the power the second-floor unit. She said PG&E had shut off power to the unit earlier this month and the extension cords were being used to bring in electricity from another apartment.
The fire was brought under control at 2:21 a.m.
Fire officials said the deaths were Oakland's first fire fatalities of the year.
OAKLAND: Extension Cord May Have Started Fatal Apartment Blaze
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