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GARDEN GROVE | COMMUNITY NEWS FOCUS

Carport Fire Spreads to Attic, Ravaging Complex

May 30, 1996|THAO HUA

Eddie Carrasco spent the morning of his 44th birthday Wednesday sitting in a borrowed minivan, staring blankly at his blackened pickup truck and his fire-scarred condominium.

Carrasco was among about a dozen people, including at least five children, who were forced to evacuate their homes late Tuesday as flames raced through the attic of a six-unit condominium complex.

"Our kitchen and our master bathroom are a mess," said Carrasco as he sat waiting with his miniature Doberman pinscher, Beau, for an insurance adjuster to arrive. "They had to tear the roof down to get to the attic."

Garden Grove fire investigators described the fire as suspicious but said the cause was still unknown. The blaze started in a car about 11 p.m. in the 13100 block of Sunnybrook Circle.

The fire charred several vehicles and caused about $500,000 in damage to the complex, mostly smoke and water damage to the units, authorities said.

No one was injured, but nine people were temporarily displaced by the blaze and spent Tuesday night in hotel rooms provided by the Orange County chapter of the American Red Cross.

The fire began in a car parked in a carport, and the flames jumped to a nearby roof, burning into the complex's attic, Fire Battalion Chief Keith Osborn said.

Carrasco said he ran outside and discovered that the nearby carport was engulfed in flames and smoke. Fire had spread to his wife's sedan in a neighboring carport, he said, and penetrated through the wall of a garage where he keeps his pickup, motorcycle and mountain bike.

About 30 firefighters worked for about 25 minutes to control the blaze. Firefighters said they were hampered by the complex's tile roof, which had to be knocked out to reach flames in the attic area.

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