Family of 7 Still Homeless After Blaze

A family of seven remained homeless Wednesday after a pair of fires caused $32,000 in damage to their Morris Street home the day before, authorities said.

The initial blaze started about 11:15 a.m. Tuesday in a bedroom of the home at 1407 Morris St., gutting the room and causing about $30,000 in damage, said Battalion Chief Henry Lenhart of the Oxnard Fire Department.

Resident Yolanda Alaniz, 48, was treated at St. John's Regional Medical Center as a precaution after her hair was singed. She was later released, Lenhart said.

The fire, possibly caused by a cigarette, remains under investigation, he said.

Firefighters returned to the house at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, when embers that went unnoticed after the first fire reignited in the attic, Lenhart said. The second fire caused $2,000 more in damage.

The Ventura County chapter of the American Red Cross provided food and temporary shelter for the five adults and two children living in the home.

Several recent fires are straining the chapter's coffers, and the organization is appealing for donations to its disaster relief fund. Contributions may be sent to American Red Cross, Ventura County Chapter, P.O. Box 5850, Ventura, Calif. 93005.

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