WALNUT CREEK -- Seven adults and six children from four families were forced from their homes when a fire burned a two-story apartment complex early Sunday, a fire marshal said.

Nobody was injured in the blaze, which started around 1:45 a.m. in the 500 block of North Civic Drive, fire marshal Lewis Broschard of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District said. Fire officials sounded a second alarm, and crews knocked down the fire just after 2 a.m., he said.

The first firefighters on the scene saw massive amounts of smoke and flames coming from the both the upstairs and downstairs apartments, and the heat from those fires threatened an adjacent building, Broschard said.

"The sidings were hot, windows were starting to explode," Broschard said. "The blinds were starting to melt. So we attacked that fire from the exterior. For that reason and others, a second alarm sounded. After we were able to cool the other building, we were able to attack the fire from the interior."

All of the residents left their apartments on their own, thanks to fire alarms in each building and in each bedroom of the apartment units, Broschard said. The building was not equipped with an automatic sprinkler system, he said.

The American Red Cross was helping to find temporary housing for the families affected by the fire, Broschard said.


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The four units that burned were destroyed, Broschard said, and two other units sustained water damage that displaced residents. Broschard did not provide an estimated financial damage to the apartments, but said the figure will be "significant."

He also said investigators have not determined what caused the fire but that the blaze does not appear to be suspicious.

Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.