Chula Vista apartment fire
A resident escapes her home March 22 at the Telegraph Canyon Apartments, where a fire destroyed residences and displaced people. Photo via OnSceneTV.

A fire tore through the second floor of a three-story apartment building Sunday in Chula Vista, destroying residences and displacing an estimated 20 or more people. No injuries were reported.

The fire started just before 1 p.m. Sunday in a second-story unit at the Telegraph Canyon Apartments complex in the 300 block of Telegraph Canyon Road, according to a report by OnSceneTV. The family that lives in the unit was not home at the time.

Thick, black smoke in the hallway as the fire spread trapped some occupants in their apartments. Firefighters helped three people and a dog climb to safety out of windows and down ladders.

William Jones, who lives in the complex, said he was watching a church service online when his apartment became hot and he saw the surface of the front door bubbling.

“The firefighters showed up immediately and very promptly set up a ladder,” Jones said. “I grabbed by bare essentials — my wallet, a thing of water, any sort of medicines I could grab right away and I climbed out to safety.”

The American Red Cross will assist those who have been displaced by the blaze. Several units were reported destroyed or damaged. The estimated loss was not available.

Investigators will determine the cause of the fire.

— Staff report

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