Fire damages Seacliff apartment building

An apartment at the Seacliff Garden Apartments in the Seacliff area of Aptos sustained massive damage Tuesday from a 3:30 p.m. blaze. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

Several people displaced

APTOS — Flames tore through an apartment in the Seacliff area Tuesday afternoon, displacing several occupants from the fourplex.

Aptos/La Selva Fire Capt. Greg Hansen said that when his crew arrived at the 3:30 p.m. incident, flames were boiling out the front of the top unit and high into the sky.

“Our initial attack was to get one hose line through the front door and one at the front,” Hansen said. “We got a pretty quick knock down on the initial flames and kept the fire to one unit. However, there was water and smoke damage to one unit downstairs and the upstairs unit next to the burned apartment.”

No injuries were reported.

Hansen said that a male resident of the burned unit was home and in the shower at the time the fire started. He said he heard a pop and emerged from the shower to find his living room filling with smoke. That’s when he barged his way downstairs to grab a fire extinguisher, Hansen said. But as the man charged back upstairs and into his home flames were winning the battle and chased him back outdoors.

By then 9-1-1 dispatchers received numerous calls of a towering column of black smoke curling into the sky and flames taking over the one apartment of the Seacliff Garden Apartments at 98 Seacliff Drive.

Hansen said it was too early to determine the cause of the fire but that on initial inspection some evidence was aiming to an origin in the kitchen.

Firefighters returned to the scene Wednesday morning to size up the situation and get a better grasp of what they were up against.

The incident is still under investigation.

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