DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO -- The residents of a downtown Sacramento apartment building were counting their blessings after flames ripped through two units.
The fire started Sunday night at a six-unit apartment complex near 10th and E streets that houses low income seniors.
Alerted by the fire alarm, Liz Hamilton said she ran to help her neighbor.
“The woman in the apartment came out, she was on the phone to 911,” Hamilton told FOX40. “She said she had a closet fire.”
The fire was spreading fast, so Hamilton rushed to safety.
“I decided to grab my cat, throw her into a pillowcase, grab my keys and leave,” Hamilton said.
Before firefighters even arrived, one man jumped from the second-story apartment, breaking his ankle upon landing. Firefighters agreed he made the right call.
“You know what, you got to get out as quick as you can,” said Sacramento Fire Capt. Dave Lauchner. “Luckily, he only broke his ankle but it’s hard for me to say don’t do it when you’ve got that much smoke and heat coming from the apartment.”
Firefighters quickly got ladders up to a woman still stuck inside that second-story apartment. They helped another woman in a wheelchair.
Within minutes, Sacramento firefighters got the flames under control.
Hamilton said out on the street it was her neighbors who offered her shoes and help with her cat.
“I’m grateful for all the people who jumped in and helped. You know, in a time when it’s kind of divisive, I met a lot of great people,” she said.
Of the three people rescued by the fire department, only the man with the broken ankle was taken to the hospital.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.