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Five Santa Monica Apartment Dwellers Displaced by Fire

By Lookout Staff

August 31, 2009 -- A fire at a Santa Monica apartment building early Saturday morning left four units uninhabitable and five residents living in temporary housing provided by the local Red Cross.

The fire began shortly after 6 a.m. in a four-unit structure at 1943/1949 20th Street. All four units were damaged because they shared a common attic, according to authorities. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A disabled woman who lived in the unit where the fire originated was transported the hospital, where she was treated. Her live-in caretaker was not injured.

The unit was extensively damaged with the ceiling and roof burned through. Everything inside was lost.

The adjacent unit also sustained extensive smoke and water damage, and an interior wall collapsed. The occupant was nor injured, but everything inside the apartment was lost. Two other units in the structure received extensive smoke damage.

All four units were determined to be "uninhabitable" by the city's building and safety inspector.

"The Santa Monica Red Cross is providing temporary housing for five fire victims at two local motor inns through Tuesday morning," according to a statement released by the agency.

The victims received Red Cross debit cards charged with funds for food, clothing, medications and other personal necessities, Red Cross officials said. They are also receiving mental health counseling and will receive Red Cross support services and assistance in resettlement as needed.




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