The Railroad Fire, which broke out Monday in Newhall, is 85% contained as of this afternoon. The blaze plowed through heavy brush and swept into several apartment buildings, leaving 24 units uninhabitable and more than 50 residents who lived in them without a roof over their heads.
Thirty residents visited the evacuation shelter that was set up by the Red Cross at Golden Valley High School on Monday night, to learn what services were available to them. Of those 30, five spent the night at the shelter.
“Our hearts go out to these residents whose homes and belongings fell victim to this fast moving fire,” said Mayor Laurene Weste of Santa Clarita. “We are working with the Red Cross, the County of Los Angeles and our local Santa Clarita Disaster Coalition to assist these neighbors with all the services and resources available to get them back on their feet.”
Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger is reaching out to residents and offering supportive services to displaced residents. “This is a difficult time for many individuals and families and I am committed to collaborating with the City and helping in any way I can.”
There are currently four buildings that are yellow tagged. Each building houses six units, for a total of 24 units that are uninhabitable. Of the 24 units, 18 are without utility service and residence cannot return home until the utilities are restored. Many of these units also have water damage. The additional six units were damaged by the fire, and it will take some time to get them repaired.
The Terrace Apartments, some of which were burned in the fire, require that all of their tenants have rental insurance. In addition, the owner has been able to relocate residents from 11 of the damaged units into a different apartment building.
The Railroad Fire broke out just before 4:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon in the thick brush southeast of Valle Del Oro in Newhall. The blaze quickly spread uphill toward the Terrace Apartments and a condominium complex to the north on Trumpet Drive. Sheriff Deputies and California Highway Patrol Officers went door to door making sure everyone, and their pets, got out safely. Meanwhile firefighters worked to knock down the blaze and extinguish the flames that had crept into patios, and stop the embers that blew onto roofs and balconies.
“Our firefighters, deputies and CHP officers are the heroes here,” said Mayor Weste. “Initial reports indicated that more than 50 units were in danger from this fire. They risked their own lives doing their best to protect our neighbors’ homes.”
To find out more about resources available for those affected by this fire or how you can help, please contact the Santa Clarita Disaster Coalition at email@example.com or call (661) 298-1220.