Saturday, June 3, 2023

Four Ukiah Families Displaced After New Year’s Eve Apartment Complex Fire

A firefighter knocking back flames during last night’s apartment fire in Ukiah [All photographs taken by Peter Armstrong]

The New Year is off to a rough start after four Ukiah families are left without shelter in the wake of an early morning apartment complex fire.

Ukiah Valley Fire Battalion Chief Justin Buckingham told us preliminary investigations indicate the fire’s ignition source was either an electrical issue or combustibles placed in front of a wall furnace. 

He told us initial reports from last night that a vehicle fire was the source of ignition were not correct.

Firefighters were dispatched to the just after 1:00 a.m. located on the 1100 block of Dora Street.

Suppressing flames in the structure’s upper-levels

Upon arrival, firefighters found a townhouse’s first floor was burning and extending into the second story. Firefighters were concerned the flames were impinging on nearby structures.

Ukiah Police Department officers and Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputies were quickly able to evacuate tenants of the burning building as well as the adjacent structures.

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Hopland Fire Protection District, Potter Valley Fire Department, and Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department were also deployed to assist.

Suppression efforts successfully held major damage to the townhouse of origin.

The other three townhouses in the structure experienced smoke and water damage displacing tenants until repairs could be completed. The Red Cross is actively working with those families.

Battalion Chief Buckingham said the fire highlighted the importance of keeping the area around the wall furnace clear. He also shouted out smoke detectors for their role in getting tenants out safely last night and reminded the public to check the battery on their smoke detectors.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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