Firefighters extinguish 2-alarm blaze at apartment complex near Recreation Park

Multiple fire engines responded to a second-alarm fire Tuesday evening at an apartment complex a few blocks west of Recreation Park, with video from the scene showing flames and smoke billowing from several units of the multi-story complex.

The first engine arrived on scene at about 6:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Newport Avenue, said Capt. Jack Crabtree, spokesman for the Long Beach Fire Department. The blaze was extinguished in 13 minutes, officials said.

Two people were assessed at the scene for smoke inhalation and released, the fire department tweeted. No firefighters were injured.

Brock Bunch, who lives across the street from the building, said he smelled burning plastic and realized the building was on fire. He and another neighbor grabbed a ladder and attempted to help residents evacuate just before fire crews arrived and took over the evacuation effort, he said.

Kistyn Gritney, who lives two units away from the apartment that caught fire, said her neighbor ran out of his apartment saying his dryer had caught fire. She said smoke filled the courtyard as she evacuated.

Madeline Peña, who lives next door to the building with her daughter, said they were worried they’d also have to evacuate.

“We were worried because of the wind and we could see the flames flying out of the building,” she said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Alena Maschke writes about all things business and beyond for the Long Beach Business Journal/Long Beach Post. Born and raised in Germany, she first fell in love with California during an exchange year at UCLA. After receiving her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2017, she returned to the Golden State with an appetite for great stories, pupusas and the occasional Michelada.
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