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4 women escape fire blamed on smoldering cigarette

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A garage fire that may have been caused by a smoldering cigarette left three residents and a visitor displaced Monday and caused about $15,000 in damage to their Oceanside home, fire officials said.

One of the residents — three deaf women — called for help shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday and told a dispatcher smoke from the garage was filling the single-family home on Point Cabrillo near Westport Drive, said Battalion Chief Pete Lawrence of the Oceanside Fire Department. The three residents and the mother of one who was visiting for the holidays were able to get out before fire crews arrived and no one was injured.

Materials being stored in the garage hindered firefighters’ efforts, but the blaze was deemed under control in about 15 minutes, Lawrence said. The garage sustained moderate damage, as did the adjacent roof area. The inside of the home was damaged by smoke.

Lawrence said that although the investigation into the cause of the fire was ongoing, investigators believed it started in part of the garage where two of the residents had been smoking.

The American Red Cross was summoned to assist the four women with emergency lodging, according to the battalion chief.

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