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Orange County Digest

Placentia : Christmas Tree Blaze Destroys Condominium

January 12, 1986|Ray Perez

A fire caused by malfunctioning Christmas tree lights destroyed a condominium Saturday and damaged two adjacent dwellings, an Orange County Fire Department official said.

The electrical fire erupted at 10:30 a.m. when an occupant of the condominium at 1680 Sherwood Village Circle plugged in the lights, quickly igniting a dry Christmas tree, according to Fire Department spokesman David Pierce. Susan Thomas, who lives in the apartment, fled the building and called the Fire Department from a neighbor's home, he said.

None of the occupants of the three apartments were injured, and firefighters took 25 minutes to control the blaze, Pierce said.

Four of the 32 firefighters who fought the blaze were injured. Two were treated at the scene, and two were treated for smoke inhalation and released from Placentia Linda Community Hospital, Pierce said.

Damage to the condominium was estimated at $90,750, including $25,000 in damage to the contents, he said. One other dwelling sustained $31,000 in damage and another dwelling $6,500 in damage, he added.

"The tree was so dry that the fire spread quickly," Pierce said. "That's why we stress that Christmas trees be taken down early. This is really too late to have trees up."

Thomas and her daughter, Denice Shinn, were given food, temporary lodging and clothing by Red Cross workers, according to their spokesman, Harry Huggins. Other residents of the damaged apartments also received assistance, he said.

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