Emmanuel Zamora was sitting in his bedroom inside his first-floor apartment Saturday night when he heard a loud crash.
His dog, Baxter, was barking more than usual, but Zamora thought it had to be garbage trucks outside.
But when he peered outside his window, he froze instantly upon seeing 10 feet of flames raging through the back of his apartment.
Zamora grabbed Baxter and yelled to his wife, Meghan. They both ran outside and watched as the three-alarm fire burned the back of their apartment and his neighbors’ home at 66 Rondel Place, where the blaze reportedly started.
About 110 firefighters responded to the scene. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, but no other injuries were reported.
“It still feels unbelievable,” Zamora said as he and his friends packed the rest of his stuff into a U-Haul on Sunday afternoon. He lost his televisions, computer equipment and Xbox in the fire.
The blaze, which started at 6:08 p.m. and was controlled shortly before 7 p.m., left 43 people homeless as of Sunday, including the Zamoras. Red Cross is helping the residents, putting them up in hotels this past weekend and possibly longer, Zamora said.
After that, “We’ll just couch-surf or maybe move in with my parents,” he said.
Meanwhile, firefighters continued to investigate the blaze and determine the cause and damage.
The Zamoras moved into the apartment three months ago, and they had finished unpacking the last box Saturday, Emmanuel Zamora said.
“This couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” he said. “We have our wedding reception a week from now. Luckily the wedding dress and tuxedo were at my parents’.”