San Diego

Red Cross Helps Victims of North Park Fire Find Temporary Lodging

Residents of a North Park home destroyed in a fire that injured one man and killed a family pet, were able to obtain temporary lodging amid the hectic holiday weekend, according to San Diego/Imperial Counties American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross aided the victims of the fire with financial assistance for lodging as well as providing food, blankets, clothing, hygiene items and mental health services, said Red Cross officials.

Victims of the fire will work with a Red Cross representative to develop a recovery plan over the next few weeks.

Neighbors saw flames and explosions coming from a home on Polk Avenue near Ohio Street at approximately 12:30 a.m. One witnessed described fire and smoke coming from every window of the house. At one point the fire started spreading to another house.

Nine people lived in the home where the fire started. One person lived in the home next door. That home was damaged as well, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue officials.

Everyone escaped the flames. One resident even carried a dog out of the home but in the chaos, the dog ran back inside.

Officials said the flames were too intense for residents to go back into the home and retrieve the dog.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Firefighters say it started somewhere near a truck parked in the driveway and quickly spread.

One person was sent to a nearby hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Two cats were rescued.

One woman who has stayed in one of the homes from time to time said the owner, Kathy, takes people in who don't have a place to stay.

"She's a sweetheart. She didn't deserve this," said Cherice Pruet. "[Kathy] would open up her home to anybody and everybody."

Ten people received hotel vouchers from the San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross. However, one of the fire victims told NBC 7 the group was having trouble finding a vacant hotel room because of the holiday weekend.

No other information was immediately available.

Check back for updates on this breaking news story. 

Contact Us