The fire at the Oak Glenn Apartment in Willits has left two apartments destroyed, the tenants displaced, and the Red Cross providing support as they recover, Little Lake Fire Chief Bill Carter told us yesterday afternoon.
Chief Carter said the initial call-out around nine in the morning resulted in a “ton of resources” deploying out of concern the fire could have “spread throughout the entire apartment complex.”
When he got on the scene, Chief Carter said the fire was “ripping” through the first and second story and making its way into the attic space.
A tenant was trapped by the flames on a balcony and firefighters were able to rescue her. She burned her hands on a hot railing during the process, but later declined medical attention, Cheif Carter explained. The tenant that resided where the fire originated experienced “heat injuries” but also declined medical attention.
Firefighters were successful in fighting back the flames before they spread via the attic space into adjoining flats.
The Red Cross has been actively providing support to the tenants displaced due to the fire.
Chief Carter said intelligence gathered on the scene indicated the fire was the result of a stove-top accident. The reporting party told investigators he had been deep frying earlier in the morning and somehow a flame flared up on the stovetop. Not having access to a fire extinguisher, the tenant attempted to smother the flames with a blanket to no avail.
As to lessons that can be learned from the fire, Chief Carter recommends that every homeowner keep a high-quality fire extinguisher within arms reach of their stove.
The agencies that converged to combat yesterday’s apartment fire included Leggett Fire, Laytonville Fire, Brooktrails Fire, Ridgewood Ranch Fire, Redwood Valley Fire, and CALFIRE. Willits Police Department and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office also assisted in the incident.
A GoFundMe is circulating on social media for one of the families displaced by the fire. Donate if you can.