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Apartment Fire Still Under Investigation

Seventy five people are offered temporary housing following the burning of a Valley Village apartment complex Wednesday.

An investigation was under way today into the cause of a fire that tore through a four-story apartment building in Valley Village, sending one woman to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and causing $250,000 in damage, authorities said.

The fire at 5260 Bellingham Ave., near Magnolia Boulevard, was reported just after 10 a.m. Wednesday and extinguished in an hour and 23 minutes, Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Firefighters used ladders to rescue two residents from a balcony, he said.

Paramedics assessed seven people for smoke inhalation, but only one woman was taken to a hospital, Humphrey said.

As many as 75 residents were offered housing at a temporary American Red Cross shelter at the North Hollywood Senior Center after a building inspector deemed the structure temporarily uninhabitable, he said.

A maintenance worker in a third-floor apartment heard a smoke alarm, discovered fire in an adjacent room and alerted residents, Humphrey said.

The fire did an estimated $175,000 in damage to the structure and $75,000 to its contents, he said.

A total of 171 firefighters were assigned to the fire, Humphrey said.

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