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Deadly Fire at Arcata Apartments1 minute read

Fire leaves one dead and one hospitalized

A fire at an Arcata apartment complex on Sunday, Feb. 2, left one resident hospitalized and another dead.

Eyewitness Jalen Zerkel-Loomis was woken up by the fire and recounted what he saw.

“You could see, like, directly into the inside of the building,” Zerkel-Loomis said. “It was like in The Sims where you can just remove one of the walls and perfectly see everything going on inside. The second story didn’t so much collapse into the first—it was like the floor inside the frame fell out under it.”

“It was a pretty crazy sight.”

Jalen Zerkel-Loomis

The Arcata Fire District responded to calls reporting a heavy structure fire and at least one resident that had jumped from a second-story window around 5:30 a.m. Four units of the Meadowbrook Apartment Complex and a nearby car were engulfed in the flames.

Zerkel-Loomis also noted several nearby gas tanks, which did not catch fire. He also said he heard several loud bangs.

“It was a pretty crazy sight,” Zerkel-Loomis said.

AFD said police provided aid to the injured resident until paramedics arrived. Firefighters contained the fire and searched the apartments for trapped residents. After the fire was extinguished, the remains of one resident were found on the first floor. The identity of the victim has not been released.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn has not yet named any suspicions.

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