Cause of two-alarm fire under investigation

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An early two-alarm fire is under investigation at the Winters Apartment Complex located on the 100 block of East Baker St. No serious injuries were reported. (Crystal Apilado/Winters Express)

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The cause behind a two-alarm fire that blazed through the Winters Apartments last Wednesday is still under investigation.

Interim Fire Chief Matthew Schechla said the Winters Fire Department was alerted to a structure fire at the Winters Apartment Complex located on the 100 block of East Baker St. at 2:53 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Multiple surrounding residents reported hearing explosions around the time frame.

Upon arrival, Winters FD crews found two apartments (an upper and lower unit) were fully engulfed in flames. Schechla said the fire had also begun to impact additional apartment units eastward across the breezeway. Apartment residents were evacuated from the building.

There was significant damage to three apartment units and minimal damage to one. However, no serious injuries were reported. Schechla said the Red Cross was working with families who were displaced by the fire, and the Express is looking for information on how the community can offer assistance to them.

Schechla confirmed there were no fire sprinklers in the apartment complex.

“They were probably built before the code required them in multi-unit apartments (required in 1989). Having sprinklers in the building would have contained the fire to the room of origin. The apartments all had working smoke detectors which alerted one of the upstairs tenants, who in turn notified the other apartment tenants,” Schechla said.

Anyone with information regarding the fire should contact the Winters Fire Department by email at wifd.records@wintersfire.org or call 530-795-4131.

Winters FD received assistance from the UC Davis, City of Davis, City of Vacaville, Vacaville Fire Protection District, Yocha De He, Dixon, West Plainfield Fire Departments and Yolo Fire Air 8. American Medical Response, the Red Cross, Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol and the Winters Police Department also provided assistance and resource coordination services.

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