A two-alarm fire heavily damaged a condominium complex in Newbury Park on Sunday, leaving four families homeless and causing $625,000 in damage, authorities said.
No one was seriously hurt, but a 13-year-old girl who was inside the unit where the fire started suffered minor smoke inhalation, said Sandi Wells, a spokeswoman for the Ventura County Fire Department.
Neighbors and residents at the complex in the 500 block of Avenida del Platino called firefighters about 11 a.m. Investigators said the blaze began as a cooking fire in one of the bottom units and spread to a plastic sewer pipe inside the wall. Once the fire was in the pipe, it quickly spread to all four units in the two-story complex, Wells said.
The fire caused $500,000 in damage to the structure and $125,000 to the contents, Wells said.
"We were moving to Washington, D.C., in four months," said Michele Spiering, who got out safely with her 3-year-old daughter. "Everything we worked for was in there."
"We have fire insurance. It should cover everything," said her husband, Monte Spiering. "I couldn't care less about the stuff in there--my family's safe."
Ebony Jones, 13, had to be rescued by firefighters from a second-story window because the smoke was so heavy she couldn't get out the front door, said Scott Quirarte, a firefighter.
"She was hanging out the window with smoke pouring over her head," Quirarte said.
Ebony was treated for smoke inhalation and released from Los Robles Regional Medical Center, a nursing supervisor said.