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Cause of Condo Roof Fire Still Not Known

The cause of a roof fire in an east Ventura condominium community that injured three people and heavily damaged seven homes had not been determined as of Friday night, officials said.

The Thursday afternoon fire at Villa Ventura on Shenandoah Street caused an estimated $1.15 million in damage, and displaced individuals and families living in eight units, Ventura Fire Battalion Chief Bill Rigg said.

Red Cross officials have estimated relief efforts have cost more than $10,000. As of Friday night, seven people had been given lodging at a local motel as well as food and assistance reaching out-of-area relatives.

Two of the displaced residents were a mother and child, Red Cross officials said.

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Meanwhile, investigators have determined that the fire started in the attic or on top of a wood shake roof that covers three second-floor units at 4994, 4996 and 4998 Shenandoah St., Battalion Chief Brian Gordon said.

No accelerants or other evidence to indicate arson was found during the investigation, and officials have not ruled out electrical malfunction, Gordon said.

Four buildings--each with four condos--were affected. The condo at 4998 Shenandoah St. remained roped off by officials who plan to meet with insurance investigators, Gordon said.

The blaze took 70 firefighters from Ventura, Oxnard and the Ventura County Fire Department more than an hour to control. The injured, including two firefighters, were treated on the scene or at a local hospital and released.

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