54 people were displaced from an apartment fire on Saturday that destroyed three apartments and 10 vehicles at 1337 Garner St. in Salinas. Three people were taken by ambulance to a local hospital for smoke inhalation. The Red Cross is taking care of the displaced residents.

“We are helping with emergency needs like food, clothes and shelter,” says Crystal Silva, American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager. “We are helping with the recovery processes.”

According to Salinas Fire Chief Edmond Rodriquez, the fire started in a car parked below the apartments. He says along with the 10 cars that were completely destroyed, four other cars were damaged by heat, with melted bumpers and scorched paint.

The three apartments facing the main building that burned also received heat damage, but are being lived in again.

“The heat shattered all the windows, melted plastic lights and bubbled the paint,” says Rodriguez.

According to Rodriguez, the total loss from the fire is $600,000 in property damage, $150,000 in vehicle loss and $200,000 in contents from the apartments and cars.

Anyone wanting to make a donation to help the families displaced can call the America Red Cross at 624-6921.


Three people were sent to a local hospital for smoke inhalation after a fire destroyed four apartments and about nine cars at a complex at 1337 Garner Ave. in Salinas today.

Just before 2pm, multiple calls reported a building on fire in an apartment complex in the 1300 block of Garner Ave.

According to Salinas Fire Department Battalion Chief Brett Loomis, about three of the apartments were occupied when the fire was reported.

“All of those people were able to evacuate, but a few people did receive minor smoke inhalation,” he says.

Loomis says the cause of the fire is unknown and due to the extensive damage, it may not be known.

“We don’t have an origin of the fire and it might be days before we’ll able to determine exactly where it started.”

Loomis says Salinas police officers arrived quickly and were able to see the size of fire and help residents evacuate.

“We were able to order additional resources very rapidly,” he says. “The fire did spread a little, but it was contained to one building. The damage would have been greater had not been for the very aggressive tactics of the initial arriving firefighters.”

Fire departments from Monterey, Seaside, Monterey County Regional Fire, Presidio of Monterey and North County Fire sent trucks and engines over to help fight the blaze.

“We’re still doing damage assessments to see what can be occupied,” Loomis says.

Staff photojournalist at Monterey County Weekly.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.