"She saw a lot of smoke from the air conditioner," explained resident Julio Guina. "She ran into the office and when she came back she saw a lot of fire in the apartment."
In just a matter of seconds, what first sounded like an electrical short grew into a raging fire. As residents at the Spring Forest apartments ran for safety, flames and smoke poured from the two-story building.
A little girl and her mother were inside their apartment when smoke began pouring out of an air conditioning vent. Moments after that, her mother noticed flames. That's when the young family got out.
They were among dozens of others at the crowded, busy apartment complex when the late afternoon fire started. It spread quickly, and by the time firefighters arrived, they needed more man power. HFD called a second alarm.
Guina said, "The fire spread quickly. She didn't get the chance to get the extinguisher. She could do nothing."
Another resident recalled, "I walked out, and that's when the flames had barely started at the bottom."