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RAW VIDEO: Fire rips through Bakersfield Apt.

Posted at 12:11 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 12:16:42-05

The Bakersfield Fire Department is currently investigating the cause of a fire that left 18 people, without a home.

The fire happened at the Conventry Place Apartments in south Bakersfield at about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

 

Two apartments were damaged in the fire, and all of the occupants were forced out as firefighters battled the blaze.

Fire officials said 11 children and 7 adults were displaced. There were 13 people in the upstairs unit, officials said they were told relatives were visiting for the night, that's why there were so many people inside. 

The Bakersfield Fire Department Battalion Chief Bill Ballard said the fire started on the patio, entered the first floor apartment and continued on the exterior to the second story apartment. The second story apartment only suffered exterior damage. 

Most of the people were asleep at the time of the fire -- but told 23ABC that once they realized what was going on, they started to bang on their neighbors' doors to try and wake them up and let them know to get out.

"The people down stairs are like my family, so I started kicking their door and me and him kick the door open and then got her and her kids out," said neighbor Kyla Adkins. 

Myishia Johnson who lives where the fire started, said that she and her kids were asleep at the time.

Johnson told 23ABC that thanks to her neighbors -- she woke up and was able to get out of their apartment alive.

"I didn't smell anything. I didn't know anything until I got to the door and they said your house is on fire and then I looked and I saw the fire. I just thank God we're safe and we're all ok," said Johnson. 
 

Both apartments had smoke detectors that were properly operating, but Battalion Chief Ballard reminds residents that working smoke detectors are extremely important.

"It's the first line of defense basically when you're asleep. There's no substitute for that. In this case neighbors were able to see it before the smoke alarm went off, but that's not always going to be the case," said Ballard. 

No one was injured in the fire and the cause of the fire is being investigated. Officials said after initial investigations they believe the fire was accidental.

The Red Cross is helping with temporary living arrangements.

Two Go Fund Me accounts have been set up for the victims. If you would like to donate you can click here or here.