Residents of a Sunnyvale apartment complex were left without homes Thursday night after a three-alarm fire tore through the structure.
The fast moving, stubborn fire roared through the large apartment building on the 200 block of West California Avenue in Sunnyvale.
The fire broke out shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Crews said the fire started in the attic on the top floor.
It damaged all twelve units, rendering the entire buidling uninhabitable.
"Huge smoke. Flames about 15 feet high," said neighbor Mitch Cadena who witnessed the fire. "The smoke billowed out into the street itself. You couldn't see the other side of the street. It was really smokey."
Fire victim John Giles, who lived at the complex for three years said the blaze was huge.
"This whole tail end [of the building] was engulfed in flames," said Giles
The 78-year-old Giles told KTVU he rushed home when he learned that his apartment was on fire.
He was hoping to get inside at some point to see what he can salvage, but said he didn't hold out much hope because of the smoke and water damage.
"My feeling is that you can replace things. I'm not too upset," said Giles.
Mohit Bhargava, another victim of the fire, said it was difficult seeing his home burn. He lost everything.
"I'm really, really sad about this. I can't say it in words. I don't know what to say right now," explained Bhargava.
The fire captain said crews pulled out of the building when the roof started to collapse.
"There's danger of the rest of the complex collapsing, " said Captain Dave Pitts with Sunnyvale Fire.
Red Cross was on scene to help fire victims and offer temporary shelter.
Fire victim John Giles made his own plans.
"Made arrangements for me to get a hotel," said Giles who said he's fortunate he has insurance.
Despite the heavy damage to the building, firefighters tell us no one was hurt. Fire crews rescued a small dog from a ground floor unit.
California Avenue between Murphy and Sunnyvale was shut down to traffic for several hours as crews battled the fire and mopped up afterwards.
The fire captain said it is too early to know what caused the fire.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.