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Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 10:20 am | Partly Cloudy 52º


8 Displaced from 2 Apartments in Lompoc Fire Linked to Burning Candle

An unattended candle is being blamed for a Saturday night fire that badly damaged two Lompoc apartments and left eight people homeless.

Lompoc Fire Chief Kurt Latipow said firefighters arrived shortly after 9 p.m. at the apartment building at 733 N. Fourth St. near East Pine Avenue. He said crews found the ground-floor apartment unit fully ablaze with flames extending to the second-floor unit above.

The fire was knocked down by 9:18 p.m., he said.

There were no injuries, but Latipow said five adults and three children were displaced by the blaze.

Investigators determined the fire was accidental, caused by an unattended candle that ignited combustibles, he said.

Lompoc firefighters were assisted by crews from the Santa Barbara County and Vandenberg fire departments.

Latipow said the apartment where the fire started is a total loss while the upstairs unit had heavy smoke and fire damage.

The American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter assisted the displaced families with temporary shelter. 

Latipow said the unfortunate incident serves as a timely reminder to be careful with candles.

“As we move into the holiday season, I’d like to caution everybody on the use of candles, and make sure they’re not near common combustibles,” he said. “They should be in a holder that has adequate protection up and around the flame.

“This is just unintended consequences from an unattended candle.”

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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