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North Hollywood Shelter Fire Devastates Already-Homeless Residents

More than 20 people were able to escape, but lost what little they had.
More than 20 people were able to escape, but lost what little they had.
NBCTV-LA

Nearly two dozen homeless people were displaced and lost the few items they owned in a fire that destroyed the shelter they were staying in early Saturday morning.

Officials said the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission at 13422 Saticoy St. in North Hollywood was declared a total loss, according to wire and TV reports. Initially the blaze was reported just before 1 a.m as flames from a large outdoor palette fire roared next door to the building where the shelter was housed.

No injuries were immediately reported. It took city firefighters about 90 minutes to knock down the fire, officials said, bringing it under control just before 3:00 a.m.

More than 20 people were sleeping inside when flames erupted out. They were able to escape, but lost what little they had.
“This is all I had,” Nancy Arias said, as she walked through the rubble on Sunday. “This is my bed, this is my home, this is my children’s things.”

Arias and her daughters, along with others at the mission, were moved to a Red Cross shelter set up at a nearby recreation center.

According to shelter director Wade Trimmer, the fire caused about $2 million in damage. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in donated items were destroyed.

The shelter is asking for cash donations. It needs new clothing, include children's shoes and underwear for those in need.
Donations can be made on the mission's website at sfvrescuemission.org.