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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | WEST COUNTY / OXNARD

Cigarette May Have Caused Legion Post Fire

March 31, 1998|DAWN HOBBS

A fire at the American Legion Oxnard Post 48 on Wagon Wheel Drive on Monday morning may have been started by a cigarette in a trash can, Oxnard Fire Department officials said.

"The fire originated in the trash can in the dining area," said Capt. Sal Velasquez. "We're thinking it was a cigarette not put out all the way, but we have not confirmed it."

Fire officials estimated smoke damage at $2,500 and content damage at $200.

"It was mostly smoke damage, but it could have been a lot worse with how old the building is," Velasquez said. The Oxnard post was built in the 1940s.

An American Legion volunteer was in the building when the fire began shortly before 9 a.m.

"I was in the back office doing paperwork when I heard this noise," said Jim Hazard, 61. "I opened the door and there was all this smoke and a section of the wall was on fire."

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