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West Ventura County Focus

OXNARD : Electrical Short Causes Garage Fire

August 19, 1993|JULIE FIELDS

A north Oxnard garage fire that destroyed $90,000 worth of property was sparked by a short in a worn electrical cord, fire officials said Wednesday.

The fire at 2145 Rhonda St., in Oxnard's River Ridge subdivision, was reported at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday. It took 15 firefighters about 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze.

Oxnard Fire Battalion Chief Terry McAnally said the garage was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived because of a delay in reporting the fire.

"It was very close to ruining the whole house," McAnally said. "They were able to get it knocked down before it spread to the rest of the interior of the house."

The owner, Bob Thorne, had just gotten out of the shower when he heard the smoke alarm going off.

"I came out of the bathroom door and I heard the fire alarm going ding, ding, ding," he said.

Thorne then raced to the front of the house and opened the garage door as smoke poured out. With a garden hose, he doused the flames enough to run into the garage and back out his Lincoln Town Car. Thorne also ran and fetched two cats from a back bedroom.

The fire was reported when Thorne's neighbors noticed the commotion and called the 911 emergency line.

Investigators determined the fire was caused by a short in an extension cord beneath a carpet in the garage. A spark ignited the carpet and flames spread to the rest of the garage and a laundry room inside the house, McAnally said.

The garage and laundry room were destroyed and there was heat and smoke damage to the rest of the single-story, stucco house. The fire caused about $75,000 in damage to the house and burned about $15,000 worth of property in the garage.

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