Santa Paula and Ventura County Firefighters quickly knocked down a North Palm Avenue condo fire Tuesday that led to the precautionary evacuation of Renaissance High School.

SPFD: School evacuated, condo
red-tagged after Tuesday patio fire
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May 16, 2014
Santa Paula News

Santa Paula Firefighters Tuesday quickly knocked down a blaze at a condominium in Santa Paula but the unit had to be red-tagged, according to a SPFD official.

Fire Chief Rick Araiza said the fire was reported about 9:50 a.m. in the 400 block of North Palm Avenue.

Because it was a structure fire mutual aid from the Ventura County Fire Department was initially requested.

When SPFD Firefighters arrived on scene they saw black smoke coming from the unit located near Renaissance High School, where students had been evacuated to the sports field stands as a precautionary measure.

Araiza said a security guard at the school reported the fire at the unit, “Which butts up against the school... “

The tenant was not home at the time the fire started on the patio; flames spread to the fence and “A few feet” into the house after the sliding glass doors broke from the heat.

“The glass doors had plastic shades that caught fire but that was about it,” said Araiza.

The cause, he noted was, “Most likely cigarettes... the tenant would sit out there in the back patio area and smoke, there were a lot of cigarette butts. It appears a trashcan caught fire in what was obviously an accident... “

Tires stored in the patio area also burned, sending out billows of black smoke.

The residence had to be red-tagged due to electrical damage.

Araiza said estimated damage from the fire was about $20,000.

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