13 displaced following fire at assisted living facility

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – A fire erupted in a National City group home Tuesday, extensively damaging it and displacing a total of 13 people who live in the house and in two attached studio apartments.

The blaze broke out about 8:45 a.m. in the 1100 block of Harding Avenue, just east of Interstate 5 and a block north of Civic Center Drive, according to the National City Fire Department. All those inside the three residences at the time -- including four disabled people who reside in the independent-living home -- were able to escape the fire uninjured, NCFD Battalion Chief Robert Hernandez said.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to get the blaze under control. One of them suffered minor heat stress while fighting the flames and was treated by medics at the scene. A resident who felt ill following the emergency was taken to a hospital for an evaluation.

Though crews were able to contain the flames to the main unit -- the home of six adults with special needs -- the adjacent apartments were deemed temporarily uninhabitable due to loss of electrical service, Hernandez said.

The American Red Cross was called in to help arrange interim housing for the displaced residents, including three children who live in one of the studios.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.