Displaced residents return to their burned Citrus Heights apartment to salvage what they could

6:19 PM, Jun 3, 2012   |    comments
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CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA - Displaced residents returned to their apartment units Sunday after a fire destroyed 10 units at the Edgewood Apartments and displaced 50 residents Saturday night.

The fire started shortly before 7 p.m. on the 5900 block of Sunrise Vista Drive.

Residents Stephen and Glenn Howard returned to their damaged unit. The father and son weren't sure what they might find, but, some special belongings were not destroyed.

"I got my laptop today," Glenn Howard said.

"I got something that really mattered to me, a tenor banjo that my dad gave me for my 10th birthday in 1970," Stephen Howard said.

About 60 Sacramento Metro firefighters arrived at the scene Saturday. A man-made creek surrounding the property, installed to enhance the property was an obstacle when fighting the blaze. It delayed their ability to get water on the rear unit where the fire originated.

"I have walked through that complex and I have always wondered 'if there was fire here, it will always be a problem gaining access,'" Sacramento Metro Fire Battalion Chief Patrick Ellis said.

The Baileys arrived home to find smoke and flames surrounding their apartment and that's when they realized their worst nightmare had come true.

"Honestly, we are leaning on each other that's all we can do," Deanna Bailey said.

She and her husband Don Bailey found their cat Snowball. Another cat was missing. Later in the day, they found that cat too.

The Baileys and nine other families have to start over.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Neighbors think a barbecue grill might be to blame. Firefighters are looking into the barbecue as a possible cause.

"We have not confirmed that as of yet, but we do know there is a no barbecue policy in that complex," Ellis said.

It will likely take days to determine a cause. Fire investigators returned to the scene to look at burn patterns.

The power is shut off to 10 units that are no longer livable. The Red Cross is helping the 50 displaced residents find shelter.


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