PORT HUENEME, Calif. (KABC) -- A father and his young son were killed in a fire that erupted in a small apartment complex in Port Hueneme early Friday morning.
Authorities responded to the 3-alarm fire around 4:45 a.m. in the 200 block of East C Street. Firefighters were able to quickly knock down the fire.
The mother and her daughter were able to escape from the fire, authorities said. Witnesses said the father was able to get his wife and daughter out of the building and then ran back in to save his son.
A young man who knows the family said his father tried to help the victim save his son. He said the two men were friends and tried to work together.
Fire officials said the fire started in one unit and then quickly spread to the rest of the building. About 20 other residents were able to flee to safety, but have all been displaced.
Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Steve Swindle said when firefighters arrived it appeared the whole side of the building was on fire, but as they quelled the flames, they realized it was only one unit.
"There were reports of people inside and so they made entry as quickly as they could," he said. "Unfortunately, they did find the father and son deceased in the fire."
Swindle said family members were distraught and it was tough for him to witness as he has children of his own.
Residents said there were no smoke detectors in the eight-unit apartment complex. Swindle said those claims will be part of the investigation, but that he could not confirm they were true.
The cause of the blaze was under investigation.
Father, son killed in Port Hueneme apartment fire