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Rohnert Park apartment complex blaze displaces 15

A fire ripped through a Rohnert Park apartment complex early Monday, forcing terrified residents to leap from their windows to escape the smoke and flames.

A neighbor was credited by Rohnert Park fire officials and residents with saving the lives of at least five people at the two-story Beverly Apartments complex off East Cotati Avenue.

Trevor Kasimoff, 23, caught two children who were held out the second-story window by their mother and helped catch the mother after she jumped from the same window. He later brought a ladder to the windows of neighboring apartments so those residents could climb out of their windows.

Rohnert Park Fire Investigation

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"He's my hero," said resident Jenny Haydon. "He saved me."

One woman reportedly suffered a broken ankle in the fall and one child was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

"We are absolutely convinced that had he (Kasimoff) not been there, it would have been very different," said Lt. John Marty, supervisor of Rohnert Park's public safety fire division. "Their path of egress was pretty much cut off."

About 15 people were displaced from their apartments by the blaze, which caused $1 million in damage and destroyed seven cars.

The fire's cause remains under investigation but it appears to have started in a carport, Marty said. Fire investigators Monday began the intricate process of combing through the wreckage with small shovels to start piecing together how the fire started.

Fire alarms sounded at 1:43 a.m. at the 38-unit Beverly Apartments. Fire crews arrived four minutes later, according to records, to find a six-unit portion of the complex ablaze, as well as multiple cars parked in the carport below.

"It had spread all through the carport and was threatening another complex next to it," Marty said. "It was building enough heat that the other half of the apartment complex was starting to catch. They were worried about the houses behind."


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