Fireplace Ember Blamed in Blaze

A fireplace ember sparked a Tustin condominium complex fire Wednesday that caused an estimated $200,000 damage and left more than a dozen people homeless, an Orange County Fire Department spokesman said Thursday.

Capt. Mark Reinhold said firefighters found a fire still burning in the detached fireplace of a two-story town house owned by Helen and Bob LaForce. A hot ember apparently traveled out of the couple's chimney and landed on a common, wood-shingle roof over eight condominiums, Reinhold said. He said the fire burned from the roof area down into the dwellings, at Tustin Village Apartments.

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