BATON ROUGE, La. – A late-night fire spread quickly through parts of a large apartment complex, killing two people and prompting terrified residents to leap from third-story windows.
The blaze, reported about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, began in one building and spread to another in the Mirage Villa complex of multiple three-story brick and wood structures, fire department spokesman Howard Ward said.
Firefighters remained on the scene Monday spraying water on the smoldering buildings and searching for a cause after it took nearly six hours to get flames under control.
The names of the dead were not immediately available. Eleven people were injured, including some with serious burns, broken bones and sprains after jumping to escape the fire, according to witnesses.
Taking shelter at a nearby high school, Tim and Monique Sanders said they and their 5-year-old son got out safely after knocking on doors to alert neighbors. But they saw others who had to jump.
"One man ran out of the building with no clothes on. His body was burnt," Tim Sanders said. "He was burned bad. He wanted my help, but I couldn't do anything. His wife jumped from the third (floor) out the window. I don't see how she made it, but she was walking."
Early Monday, displaced residents lined a street, some huddled in blankets, as they awaited word on their burned homes. At least 150 people were forced out of their apartments.