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November 29, 2023

Christmas Eve fire displaces 20

Editor’s note: This story was updated from a previous version.

WATSONVILLE—A fire at an apartment complex on Clifford Avenue late Christmas Eve displaced 20 people and severely damaged four adjoining units, Watsonville Fire Battalion Chief Kirt Vojvoda said.

According to Vojvoda, the blaze began at about 11pm, when a fire in the backyard of a fourplex at 317 Clifford Ave. spread to a fence, and then into the attics of the units.

Eduardo Serrano, who lived in one of the apartments, said in a GoFundMe post that his next door neighbor was barbecuing, and left the fire unattended. The flames then spread to his living and dining rooms, Serrano said.

Watsonville Fire Department, CalFire and Aptos/La Selva Fire and North Monterey County Fire departments took about 45 minutes to extinguish the fire, Vojvoda said.

Nobody was reported to be injured in the blaze.

Serrano said that the blaze was a blow to his family, which was already struggling.

“Money was already tight, and adding an unexpected fire disaster on the eve of Christmas on top of a pandemic makes things that much more difficult,” he said. 

To make a donation, visit Serrano’s GoFundMe page.


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