SANTEE, Calif. -- A second-alarm fire broke out Thursday evening at an apartment complex in Santee, displacing 15 families and sending one resident to a hospital.
The blaze started around 6:45 p.m. at Santee Villas Apartments in the 10400 block of Mast Boulevard, across the street from Santana High School, according to Santee Fire Department.
The fire started in a downstairs unit and quickly spread to three others. Multiple fire departments were called out to help put out the flames.
"When I first came out I was panicked, I wasn't thinking correctly. I said, 'where are all the fire extinguishers?' My husband said, 'I think we're beyond fire extinguishers at this point,'" said resident Melissa Reinhart.
One man was taken to a hospital to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation. At least one dog died in the fire, while another dog was rescued.
"We just kept saying, 'there's still a dog in there!' ... I kept saying, 'somebody get that dog!' And then they did," Reinhart said.
Fire damage was contained to four units, but because water, electricity and other utilities were cut off during the fire and the ensuing investigation, 11 other units in that building had to be vacated, displacing the families who lived in those apartments.