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7 Anaheim Families Flee 2nd Apartment Fire

Times Staff Writer

Seven families were evacuated early Sunday morning after the second fire in seven weeks broke out at an Anaheim apartment complex, fire officials said. One family said it has had enough and plans to move.

The blaze, which started at 1:18 a.m., caused $25,000 damage to six carports and $15,000 to a number of cars at the apartment complex, located at 1104 N. East St., said Anaheim Fire Capt. John Cox. The cause of the fire is under investigation, he said.

Officials of the Orange County chapter of the American Red Cross said they relocated all 33 residents of the apartment complex to two motels in Anaheim and will provide support until utilities are restored and the families are able to return.

The apartment complex is in one of the city’s older neighborhoods. The earlier fire there, which occurred Dec. 7, was caused by a short circuit in a stereo system, Cox said.

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No one was injured in either fire.

Tenant Gretchen Herron said she and her husband Bill escaped unscathed both times. The first fire “completely gutted” the apartment next door but did no damage to their unit, she said. Sunday’s fire occurred in the carport directly beneath their apartment and destroyed their balcony patio, but again again left their belongings untouched.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It could have been a total disaster.”

But when fire strikes twice, she said it’s “like a sign that you’d better pay attention.” She said the couple will move as soon as possible.

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