Early on the morning of Thursday December 8, firefighters responded to a report of a structure fire at the Mt. Rubidoux Manor in the 3900 block of Tenth Street.
Those who arrived first on the scene found an apartment fully engulfed with heavy fire and smoke coming from an apartment on the tenth floor.
The firemen quickly gained access from the exterior stairwell and initiated an attack on the fire. As the firemen made their entry they encountered an elderly female lying in the hallway near the open door of her apartment with flames leaping out of the apartment.
Firefighters covered the woman and she was removed from the area and brought downstairs to safety where she was treated for smoke inhalation and transported to a local area hospital.
Two other residents were rescued from adjacent apartments during the firefighters’ primary search of the building. Only one additional resident was treated and transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
The firefighters were able to successfully contain the fire to the apartment of origin and according to officials, there was minimal fire extension to the two adjacent apartments.
Mt. Rubidoux Manor is an independent senior living facility that houses approximately 185 residents. There are thirteen apartments on each floor. All thirteen residents on the tenth floor are now displaced. Although fire officials evacuated all floors, some residents were allowed to shelter in place on floors well below the fire floor.
The Dale Senior Center, located next door to Mt. Rubidoux Manor, served as a temporary evacuation center. The American Red Cross responded and provided assistance.
The American Red Cross is working on temporary housing for the residents displaced on the tenth floor. Some residents on the ninth floor were also displaced due to water damage. Residents were also offered temporary shelter from the Red Cross.
It is now believed that the fire was caused by a cigarette that fell from a resident’s hand and hit the hose of a running oxygen tank. Although the fire caused nearly one million dollars in damages, there were no serious injuries.