The family of a woman injured and displaced in a Rohnert Park apartment fire Monday are asking the public for help.
Mara Best and her girlfried Amber McAlvain and McAlvain's two children are among 13 people who had to flee from Beverly Apartments after a fire raged through in the wee hours Monday. Best and the children, ages 7 and 10, had to jump from a second-story window into the arms of a neighbor in the dark to escape the flames. She broke her ankle in the fall. The children suffered minor smoke inhalation. All three were taken to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Rosa, Public Safety Lt. John Marty said.
The fire spread from a carport beneath their apartments. Firefighters were dispatched to the blaze at 1:42 a.m. Monday. Marty said the situation could have been a lot worse if it hadn't been for the neighbor, Trevor Kasimoss, who also helped other residents with a nearby ladder.
On Monday, reports indicated 18 people were displaced. However, a spokesperson for the apartments on Tuesday said the number is now estimated to be 13.
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.
Best's family has sent a request for the public's help for Best, McAlvain and the children.
"Had it not been for the heroic actions of a good samaritan who broke the fall of family members as they jumped from their second story window, the family surely would have perished," Kylie Schrader wrote to Patch.
"This same family is now without a home and have lost virtually every belonging as they did not have renter's insurance. Additionally, their car, which was parked in a carport underneath the complex was completely destroyed. We, their family and friends, have banded together to provide clothing, food, shelter, and transportation to this family. We are writing you, their neighborhood [Target, Walmart, etc], to make a donation in the form of goods, services or a financial gift to assist the family to re-build their life by finding a home, transportation and buying basic necessities for day-to-day activities. Thank you in advance for the generous donation. Many of us have already purchased gift cards from your store to provide to the family.
"As members of the community, this family will be forever grateful. Kind regards, Kylie Schrader, Las Vegas; NVKim Byers, Flower Mound, TX; Kelly Skrocke, Centennial, CO.
Kylie Schrader can be reached at email@example.com