3 injured as fire rips through North County apartment buildings

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- A fire spread from the attic of a home and demolished two Oceanside apartment buildings Saturday afternoon, displacing dozens of people, a police officer said.

The first report of the fire came in a little after 2 p.m., according to Oceanside police Lt. Kedrick Sadler. The blaze first broke out at an apartment building on Division Street near Interstate 5 before spreading to a neighboring building on Brooks Street, just to the east.

Two people suffered burns and were treated at UC San Diego Medical Center, according to the fire department. A third person was also assessed for burns but didn't have to be taken to a hospital.

One firefighters also suffered a minor injury but didn't need to be hospitalized, the department said.

The flames were out by about 3:45 p.m., but firefighters weren't able to save the buildings, which were both "basically destroyed," according to Sadler.

Forward progress of the fire was quickly halted, but it took firefighters an extended period of time to actually get the blaze out due to its size and difficulties accessing it -- flames had spread to the attics of two of the buildings. There were also large amounts of combustible materials inside and outside the buildings, firefighters said.

At one point, every single Oceanside Fire Department engine and ladder truck, as well as three of five ambulances, were working on the fire, the Fire Department said.

In all, about 30 people were evacuated and nine dwellings were damaged, according to information from police and firefighters.

The Red Cross and the Oceanside Neighborhood Services Department assisted in providing shelter for displaced residents.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the fire. Arson investigators were at the scene trying to determine what happened, Sadler said.

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