Several Sparks Fire Department engines and fire crews responded to the blaze as one multi-housing unit was soaked with water and crews tore into the roof to ventilate the living units.
In the building where the fire erupted, several residents were evacuated. Two apartments were destroyed beyond what could be inhabited. Two apartments below those were slightly damaged. One witness, Stephanie Hogen, who lived in the evacutated section of Park Vista Apartments, said she was told that the barbecue at one residence had exploded and caught fire. She sat on a lawn and watched as firefighters quickly ran hoses to the units and drenched the apartments with water.
Nearby, children swam in the cool water of the apartment pool, as if nothing had happened.
Veronica Espego was able to get close enough with her children in tow and her husband by her side as she snapped photos with her phone’s camera of the flames shooting out of the building.
“As I was sitting there, I saw the smoke coming out,” Espego said. “That’s when I saw the fire on this side. That’s when the cops came and the fire engines came shortly after that. It was already engulfed by that time.”
Everything inside the original apartment that caught fire was destroyed, Espego said. The flames then jumped to the other side of the building before fire crews arrived. According to Espego, neighboring residents helped each other by knocking on doors to evacuate apartments one by one.
“The young ones were walking around trying to get people out of the doors,” she said. “The only ones I saw evacuating were the citizens of the apartments.”
One woman was reportedly treated at the hospital for asthma following smoke inhalation during the fire.