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Blaze Discovered by Youngster : Laguna Beach Fire Leaves 7 Homeless

March 20, 1987|MARCIDA DODSON | Times Staff Writer

Four adults and three children were left homeless when fire swept through a two-story home Thursday morning in Laguna Beach, fire officials said.

The blaze gutted the upstairs of the home in the 700 block of South Coast Highway, but water damage to a downstairs apartment made the entire structure uninhabitable, Laguna Beach Fire Capt. Bing Boka said.

The fire was reported at 6:53 a.m., after 5-year-old Ian Shaw noticed smoke coming from under the heating duct upstairs and woke his mother, Loren Shaw, Boka said. By the time she got up, flames had broken through the floor, he said.

The three women and three children living upstairs, as well as a man living in the downstairs apartment, fled from the burning building, Boka said. They were all outside by the time firefighters arrived, he said.

The four engine companies, 20 firefighters and one chief officer who responded found the building "pretty well engulfed" by flames that were burning through the front door and roof, he said.

The cause is under investigation, he said. Damage was estimated at $70,000 to $100,000, he said.

In addition to Loren and Ian Shaw, others living in the upstairs section of the house were Loren Shaw's 3-year-old daughter, Helena, Sharon McMurry and her 3-month-old son, Kai-Oni (Hawaiian for "ocean"), and Natalae Ahern, he said. Boka did not know the identity of the downstairs resident.

Maggie Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Orange County chapter of the American Red Cross, said food and lodging was obtained for the fire victims.

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