Hayward residents jump from balcony to escape fire

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A two-alarm fire at a Hayward apartment building early this morning displaced 27 people and killed a Chihuahua, a fire department spokesman said.

The fire was reported at 2:47 a.m. at the Whitman Green Apartments in the 26300 block of Whitman Street, off of Harder Road.

When crews arrived, they found smoke and fire coming from the first and second floors of the eight-unit building, Hayward fire spokesman Don Nichelson said.

Residents had to scramble to get out of the building, he said.

“Two residents actually jumped from the second-floor balcony to escape,” Nichelson said.

Both suffered only minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

One Chihuaha died of smoke inhalation despite firefighters’ efforts to save the dog, Nichelson said.

“We have the equipment to do CPR on dogs and we used that, but to no avail,” he said.

The fire was controlled in about half an hour.

Two apartments were destroyed, and four adjacent units were damaged by the smoke, Nichelson said.

Nichelson said it appears the fire may have started when the resident of a first-floor unit turned on the stove and then left it unattended. He said the circumstances remain under investigation.

The American Red Cross has been called in to assist the residents who can’t go home. Nichelson said there were about eight children among those displaced.

(Copyright 2013 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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