Jeremy Tolen and John Calvert explain how they sprang into action when their Seal Beach apartment complex caught fire. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on July 9, 2012
Two well-trained residents jumped into action when a fire forced them and their neighbors from an apartment complex in Seal Beach Monday night.
"We were trying to smash out the glass and pull the fire hose, but the smoke was getting so thick, we went downstairs and started knocking on doors to try to get everybody out," said Jeremy Tolen, a CHP Officer. "A lot of people didn't know there was a fire going on because the ringing wasn't that loud."
The pair helped clear the building, which was left heavily damaged and partially evacuated.
"It was pretty obvious it was a major fire incident, so we got as close as we could," said John Calvert, who works for the Long Beach Police Department.
The blaze began at about 8:45 p.m. in the 12000 block of Montecito Road near unincorporated Rossmoor.
Officials said the blaze likely started in a first-floor unit.
One woman suffered smoke inhalation. It appeared that there were no other serious injuries.
Officials say the men's efforts may have saved lives or at least kept other residents from being seriously injured.
An undetermined number of residents were not allowed back in their homes Monday night. The American Red Cross was on scene late Monday, helping displaced residents make plans for near-term housing.