(Photos courtesy Ventura City Fire)
A fire that destroyed two homes and damaged a third in east Ventura early Sunday morning sent four people to the hospital, two with critical injuries, and displaced 15 residents.
Ventura City Fire Batallion Chief Doug Miser told KVTA News that the fire was reported shortly before 1 AM and could be seen from as far away as Oxnard.
He says when they arrived on Q Street in Cabrillo Village they had two single-story, single family homes fully engulfed in flames with the radiant heat starting to catch a third home on fire.
Several vehicles were also destroyed by the flames.
Miser says four people in one of the homes were injured, two of them critically, and all four were taken to local hospitals.
Their current conditions are unknown.
He says 41 firefighters responded to the incident from several departments in what was a two-alarm fire.
Miser says given the extent of the fire to the homes and vehicles when they arrived, firefighters treated the incident as if they were dealing with a large commercial structure fire and they attacked the flames aggressively with a large amount of water to make sure it did not spread beyond the homes and vehicles involved.
They had the flames knocked down in about a half hour despite being hampered by downed power lines.
Two homes were destroyed and a third suffered about 20% damage.
Damage estimates are placed at about $500,000, not counting the vehicles.
Miser says the Red Cross sent a team to help the 15 people left homeless by the fire find emergency housing, food, and needed supplies and other support.
He says the cause of the fire is under investigation.