Two days after — tenants to jump from second-story windows to flee the flames—those same windows are boarded over and a security guard patrols the now-vacant building.
The two-alarm fire Monday evening at the injured 30 people and left nearly 50 homeless.
Watsonville Fire Chief Mark Bisbee said the probe into what caused the historic building to erupt in flames would be wrapped up before the end of the month.
“It’ll probably one to two weeks until we’re finalized," Bisbee said.
He said investigators have more interviews to conduct with residents, some of whom are still hospitalized.
“There’s still a couple that are in critical," Bisbee said.
at area hotels who were displaced by the fire. Sharon Tong, Red Cross spokeswoman, said local volunteers are helping the fire victims with housing, food, clothing, emotional support, medical attention, information and referrals.
Although the hotel owner has expressed hope that he can rebuild quickly—he told the Santa Cruz Sentinel he thinks he could have the residences reopened in seven months— Bisbee said it will be a long road.
“It’ll be months before it’s back in service," Bisbee said.
The rebuild will include improving fire safety in the building, which was constructed in 1927.
To help the fire victims, contact the Red Cross at 462-2881 or 600-4902.