Husband and wife forced to jump from burning apartment building

Posted at 8:32 AM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 08:32:19-05

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. - A husband and wife were hospitalized Thursday morning after being forced to jump from a burning apartment building in Garden Grove, according to KTLA.

Arriving firefighters found flames at a four-unit apartment building where a woman was hanging from a second-story window, a news release from the Garden Grove Fire Department stated.

The firefighters attempted to rescue the woman, but she let go before they could get to her, Fire Department Captain Thanh Nguyen said.

The woman’s husband, who identified himself to KTLA as Marco Hernandez, also jumped from the window.

Video taken at the scene showed Hernandez dangling from a window and then letting go.

“My wife and I, we had to come out from the window on the second floor,” Hernandez said.

The video also shows some good Samaritans rushing to aid Hernandez after he fell to the ground.

Both Hernandez and his wife were treated for smoke inhalation and transported to a hospital in stable condition, the news release stated.

More than 50 firefighters were called to battle the flames, which were extinguished in about 30 minutes. At least two apartment units were damaged, and several animals died in the fire, Nguyen said.

“Five cats did not make it. However, the good news is that we did find three that firefighters got to right away,” he said.

Officials later announced a sixth cat had died as a result of the fire. Garden Grove animal control also responded to the scene to provide assistance with the cats.

Investigators believe the fire started on the first floor and the couple was awoken by a working smoke alarm.

“They had time to escape due to the smoke alarm and their bedroom door being closed, which slowed the smoke spread,” Nguyen stated in the news release.

Twelve residents were displaced because of the fire, which was determined to be accidental.

Investigators have not ruled out the possibility it was started by smoking material, according to the news release. Damage to the building is estimated at $600,000, according to the Fire Department.