San Rafael Residents Trapped in Apartment Use Bed Sheets to Escape 2-Alarm Fire

Four people trapped by fire in an apartment in San Rafael Wednesday morning used bed sheets tied together to escape out of a rear window without serious injury, fire officials said.

The two-alarm fire was reported at 10:37 a.m. at 120 Larkspur St.

The residents were unable to get out of the front door of their upstairs unit because of flames there, so resorted to tying together bed sheets to climb about 10 feet down to the ground from the rear window, Fire Chief Christopher Gray said.

"This could have been a real tragedy," Gray said.

One person suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital to be checked out, but no other injuries were reported, he said.

"We're very pleased about that," he said.

The fire was knocked down shortly after 11 a.m. but crews remained at the scene early Wednesday afternoon to make sure it doesn't spark back up.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation but it appears to have started in the front deck area of one of the units, according to Gray.

Eliam Rodas, one of the family members who escaped said he's just just thankful everyone got out safely.

"We’re alive that’s all that matters," he said. "Everything else can be replaced."

Fire department officials wrote on Twitter that the fire caused heavy damage to two second-floor units and resulted in smoke and water damage to two ground-level units.

The Red Cross was at the scene assisting the displaced family, officials said. 

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