Crews battled a North County apartment fire in cold, wet, and windy conditions Sunday afternoon.
The fire gutted a family's apartment at the Madeleine Manor complex in Berkeley around 4:30 p.m.
"It just sucks to see everything I worked for just go away in five minutes," said Samantha White, who escaped the fire with her two daughters, ages 5 and 15.
She said she left a pot on the stove and when her daughter said something was burning, the kitchen was engulfed.
"We just ran out of the house, this isn't my coat, these aren't my shoes, my kids we don't have anything, they don't even have shoes," White said through tears.
The Red Cross is helping their family as well as three others who were displaced by the fire.
White said she has lived in the apartment for four years and her smoke alarms did not go off.
The Red Cross is also advising every family to install working smoke alarms. Officials said a working smoke alarm reduces the chance of death in a fire by 50 percent. Also, families are encouraged to create an escape plan with two routes from every room, and practice that plan at least twice a year.
If you are unsure if your smoke alarms work, call the American Red Cross at 314-516-2797 to make an appointment to have alarms installed free of charge.
For more information, visit RedCross.org.