Costa County

Woman Saves 18-Month-Old Niece During Apartment Fire in Pittsburg

An 18-month-old girl was saved by her aunt during a two-alarm apartment fire in Pittsburg, officials said late Tuesday.

Joy Anyaegbunam was cleaning her home at the Peppertree Apartments when flames erupted around 5:30 p.m., prompting her to grab her niece and run to safety.

"I don't know what pushed me to go into the bedroom. I saw fire around the socket behind the bed," Anyaegbunam said. "My God I was so confused I didn't know what to do."

Contra Costa County Fire Chief Robert Marshall said crews arrived at Peppertree Way and found two heavily involved units and immediately went to a second alarm.

A total of four units, two of them destroyed, were damaged in the complex because of the fire, Marshall said.

Stephan Doyle and his family lost everything in the fire, including all the Christmas toys.

"We had a lot of kid toys, electronics, books, clothes, everything," Doyle said.

The fire was called under control at 6:44 p.m. and no injuries were reported.

Resources were stretched thin during the response because crews were also responding to another house fire nearby at the same time, according to Marshall.

Fire inspectors were still on scene late Tuesday looking into the cause, focusing on a space heater that was found inside one of the units.

"Preliminary we're finding the space heater was plugged in using an extension cord because the original cord wasn't long enough and a lot of clothing and cardboard boxes nearby," Contra Costa County Fire Inspector Vic Massenkoff said.
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