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Firefighters Contain 2-Alarm House Fire

A two-alarm fire that began in the attic of a wooden two-story home in Santa Paula on Friday night was prevented from spreading by firefighters but proved difficult to extinguish.

One firefighter suffered a superficial burn in the fire, according to a spokeswoman at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital. The blaze began about 7:15 p.m.

Small flames could be seen licking the rooftop almost two hours after the fire began in the house in the 200 block of North 8th Street.

“These old homes are so difficult to fight fires in,” said Battalion Chief Paul Ramonette with the Ventura County Fire Department. “The roof is so steep we couldn’t cut a hole in it.”

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The owners of the home, Joseph and Ruth Ballantyne, were in Utah, said Bill Baumgarten, chaplain with the Santa Paula Fire Department. Ruth’s sister, Rachel Folz, escaped from the home safely with the couple’s two young children.

The cause of the fire in the 95-year-old home was under investigation. Firefighters from Ventura were called in to assist local crews.


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