Victim identified in Natomas apartment fire

1:59 PM, Jun 15, 2012   |    comments
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  • Timothy O. Silva
  • Three-alarm fire at south Natomas apartment complex.

NATOMAS, CA - The Sacramento City Fire Department responded to a fire at an apartment complex on the 1500 block of Waterwheel Drive Thursday morning.

The fire started in a ground floor apartment and spread to the second floor and then the attic.

One person died in the blaze. He was identified by the Sacramento County coroner as Timothy O. Silva, 57. The cause of death was not determined yet.

PHOTOS: Firefighters battle 3-alarm blaze in Natomas

The fire, originally classified as two-alarm, was later upgraded to a three-alarm fire.

"I was asleep," said apartment resident Kenji Lewis. "Me and my son were asleep, my girl got up to cook.  I heard the alarm, looked out and saw my neighbor's house on fire.  I got the baby and ran outside."

Four apartments were damaged with initial estimates running upwards of half a million dollars.  Residents of those apartments were displaced.

One bright spot in the midst of the tragedy was the rescue of a small dog.  It was found unconscious in an upstairs apartment by firefighters and rushed outside.  Firefighter Ross Palmerton gave the dog oxygen and was able to bring it around.

"He looked like he was dead to me," said Palmerton, "but then I thought I detected a pulse and then when I was running with him, he started moving a little bit, moving his eyeballs, we figured out he was still alive."

As it turns out, however, the dog is most likely a female.  A name tag on its collar said "Belle."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Jonathan Mumm contributed to this story.


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