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Blaze at Condo Complex Causes $310,000 in Damage

May 22, 1994

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA — A four-alarm fire tore through four condominiums Saturday morning, leaving four families homeless and causing more than $300,000 in damage but no injuries, fire officials said.

The blaze displaced at least a dozen people out of their homes and the Red Cross was working Saturday to find them temporary housing, said Capt. Dan Young of the Orange County Fire Department.

A resident of an eight-unit building reported smelling smoke shortly after 11 a.m. in the Casa Fina condominium complex off Antonio Parkway, Young said. The fire originated in a first-floor unit of the complex, on Santa Agatha, he said.

The blaze apparently started inside an electrical wall socket after a faulty can opener shorted out, Young said. It spread inside the wall until it reached the second floor. No one was home in the condominium.

Firefighters estimate the blaze had been burning for at least three hours before they received the call, Young said. It took 70 firefighters with 20 vehicles more than an hour to control the blaze.

The condominiums "had very unusual construction with lots of little cubbyholes," Young explained. Two one-bedroom condominiums and two two-bedroom units were damaged, he said.

Structural damage was estimated at $250,000 and the losses in contents amounted to about $60,000, he said.

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