COSTA MESA — James Toporcer woke up early Thursday morning to a banging on his door and a voice yelling, "James, let's go!"
"I woke up and the room was pretty warm," Toporcer said. "It was too warm to grab stuff."
A fire that allegedly started in the early-morning hours in the garage beneath his room spread upward, eventually breaking the glass of his condo and melting the back off his TV.
Most of Toporcer's things were damaged beyond repair, including a computer with work and family photos, clothes and furniture. He was given one night at a hotel and a free meal from the Red Cross.
Thursday's 3 a.m. fire affected two units in the Pentridge Cove condominium complex at 740 Wesleyan Bay. Firefighters from Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley and Santa Ana were able to prevent the blaze from extending to the 19 nearby units, said Battalion Chief William Kershaw, of the Costa Mesa Fire Department.