MARTINEZ, Calif. (KTVU) - An early morning fire in Martinez damaged or destroyed six units in the Mission Pines apartment complex, and sent one woman to the hospital with smoke inhalation. Eight people had to be evacuated from the complex.
"I've never been in a fire before and it was so scary," Tania Segura said crying after she was released from the hospital. "I really thought this was the end for me and my son. I thought we were going to die."
Segura and her 14-year-old son, Alek Reid were sleeping in their second floor apartment when the fire broke out around 5:30 Wednesday a.m.
"As I walked out (of the bedroom) the smoke was coming in, and it was so hot, burning into my eyes," she explained. 'I felt like I was choking!"
Segura said she tried to unlock the front door, but it was stuck, so she ran to the only other opening; a window. "I'm looking down saying, 'OK maybe we need to jump down,'" Segura said in tears. 'I'm sitting in my room, and I saw my life in front of me. I thought I was going to die with my son."
Segura said she always told her son to trust in God and believe in angels. Their angel swooped in, not with wings, but with a badge.
"Then I see a police officer running as fast as he can, and he kicks open our door," Segura's son, Alek, said. "The room was filled with black smoke, and I see the fire right next to us. I was kind of scared to run out, because I thought I was going to get burned."
"I don't know his name, but he's a hero," Segura said. "I know he's tall and strong because he pulled us out of there." The officer who kicked in their door was Officer Dustin Mayberry. He was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
"I thank him for that because... he saved two lives today for sure," Segura said. Reid had a message for his hero. "I'd say thank you for saving my life," he said. "I got you when I'm older!"
Fire investigators say the fire started on Segura's balcony. They haven't determined a cause but say it is not arson.