Update 12:12 p.m.: Neighbor Trevor Kasimoss, 23, said he was watching TV in his home behind the apartment building around 1:25 a.m. when he heard a fire alarm.
He said he looked out a window and saw that the apartment building behind his house was on fire. He hopped the fence between his house and the burning building and saw a woman leaning out a second-story window. The woman dropped a boy, about 6 years old, then a girl about two years younger into his arms.
"I was able to catch them both," Kasimoss said.
The woman herself then jumped from the window, he said. "I wasn't ready for it. I put my arms out and was able to break her fall, but we both fell to the ground," he said.
The woman suffered a broken ankle, and the two children suffered minor smoke inhalation, Marty said. All three were taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Rosa, Public Safety Lt. John Marty said.
Kasimoss said the people in the next-door apartment were yelling for help and he saw a 20-foot ladder on the ground. He said he put it up to the apartment window and a man and a woman climbed down to safety.
"I was going on adrenaline in the heat of the moment," he said. "I'm just glad the worst of it was a broken ankle and smoke inhalation," said Kasimoss, an employee at Mary's Pizza Shack in Santa Rosa.
Marty said that if not for Kasimoss' heroism, the outcome could have been different.
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Four people were injured, including a Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety officer, this morning during a fire at a Rohnert Park apartment complex. In addition, the fire displaced 18 individuals, according to the Department of Public Safety.
The fire began at 1:42 a.m., at an apartment building at When firefighters arrived at the scene, the found flames and heavy smoke coming from the carport area. The flames were endangering the apartment units above the carport and the nearby structures.
The first two arriving officers began evacuating the apartment complex, but they were not alone. A resident, whose name was not available as of this posting, helped evacuate two adults, and two children, as flames, according to the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety, blocked their escape path.
The resident found a ladder and helped evacuate the family from a second-floor window.
"The citizen also was able to catch the children as they fell from the window," a RP Department of Public Safety press release stated.
The rapid spread of the flames and the many structures involved, prompted fire crews to call in a second alarm.
"This fast-moving fire rapidly spread from the carport consuming the apartments immediately above and then traveled to several more apartments, due to both the intensity of the fire and common attic space above the living units," the release stated.
Fire crews from nearby Rancho Adobe, Rincon Valley, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Gold Ridge, Bennett Valley and Wilmar assisted Rohnert Park firefighters with the suppression of the flames.
"An aggressive fire attack brought the fire under control within 40 minutes and the fire was fully extinguished by 2:57 a.m.," the release said.
A total of eight fire engines and two truck companies assisted with the fire suppression. Two Sonoma Life Support ambulances transported several individuals to the hospital with various injuries.
"One resident suffered a fractured ankle while evacuating from a second-floor window," the release stated. "Two tenants were transported for mild smoke inhalation and a Public Safety Officer suffered a lacerated hand while performing an emergency evacuation."
Flames damaged seven apartment units, with four of the apartments being a total loss. The fire also destroyed five vehicles and damaged two others. The American Red Cross responded to the scene and set up a temporary shelter at Callinan Sports Center for the displaced residents. They were later housed at local motels.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.