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Pleasant Hill Apartment Fire Sends Two People to Hospital

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa  --  Crews in Pleasant Hill are investigating an apartment fire.

Firefighters were called to the Canterbury Apartments in the 600 block of Sherrylynn Boulevard shortly after 2 a.m. on Saturday. Investigators say the flames began between the second and third floors and five units were involved. The building's entire 24 units had to be evacuated. A nearby McDonald's opened up its doors to temporarily shelter tenants, and DART also helped move residents to a safe place.

Brianna Hamilton lives on the second floor and heard the fire alarm. She says she immediately grabbed her young son and ran to safety.

"I get him up, I get pants on real quick, and I run outside with no shoes, no socks. I put him in the car, then I run back inside to get more blankets for him," she says. "I count myself as some of the lucky ones. My whole family is safe."

Officials say two people were sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Other metro fire departments were called to help with the fire, but the cause is currently unknown.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa also responded to the scene. Officials say crews were able to rescue most of the animals and fish, but did recover the body of one cat. The Red Cross is also assisting families; residents were given money vouchers to help get them back on their feet.

Tenant Kenny Stewart says that could take a while.

"The apartment complex is  trying to find us other units to move into, but last I heard they were completely full here so there are no units available."

The apartment complex was built in 1977, before sprinkler systems were required to be installed in living spaces.