Fire and the efforts to extinguish it damaged two apartments near Granary Square on Wednesday, displacing the residents of the two units.
What began as smoke seen coming from the roof of one apartment inside a three-story apartment complex on McBean Parkway in Valencia shortly after 6:50 a.m. ended up being a seven-hour commitment to the scene by firefighters.
No injuries were reported.
“The call came in as a residential fire at 6:52 a.m.,” said Vanessa Lozano, a public information officer with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “There were reports of smoke showing from the roof of a three-story apartment complex.”
The building is located on on the 25000 block of McBean Parkway, near Arroyo Park Drive. McBean Parkway remained closed in both directions, near Granary Square, as of 7:45 a.m. Officials recommend avoiding the area as crews continue working on the incident.
Within minutes, fire crews arrived at the scene, with more than 10 units using hose lines and working on exterior protection just after 7 a.m. By 7:55 a.m., firefighters stopped forward progress of the blaze, said Lozano. Units on the scene remained well past 8 a.m. to control spot fires and prevent any flare-ups.
Despite no evacuations or injuries reported, Red Cross officials were also requested to come to the scene, she added. Surrounding structures were not threatened.
A few tenants living at the apartment complex who were displaced by the fire and the efforts to extinguish it watched firefighters at work.
Some were worried about the fire spreading to attached dwellings and nearby buildings, while others slept through the commotion.
Rosa Montes-De Oca, who lives in the apartment to the east of the one on fire, said she was scared by the ordeal.
“I was taking my kids to school and I saw a lot of smoke,” she said.
When she returned from school, the scene outside her home was intense and chaotic.
“I left, and when I came back, I couldn’t get back in,” she said, referring to deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station who blocked off a section of McBean Parkway and diverted motorists from the area.
“I was scared for my two kids inside the apartment,” Rosa said, referring to sons aged 10 and 16.
She immediately called the apartment and talked to her younger son, who assured her, she said, that everything was all right.
Rosa was able to walk back to the apartment.
Her older son Avi slept through the fire and the firefighting efforts.
Avi, who just completed the Explorer firefighting program, said he wants to be a firefighter.
“Watching them made me more motivated,” he said.
Patrick, a tenant who lives directly across from the damaged apartment, stood with four members of his family watching firefighters rip up parts of the damaged apartment’s roof and toss them onto the common area between that apartment and his own.
“We just saw smoke from the fire moving along the roof,” he said. “The smoke traveled across the attic.”
At no time was the smoke a breathing problem, he said.
“They knocked it down pretty good,” he said.
Tenants in a building buffered by a building between them and the fire said they slept through the fire and woke up to see firefighters gathering their gear together.