Westlake Village apartments hit with another blaze 

Residents were evacuated for two hours early Sunday morning while firefighters battled a blaze beneath their apartments, located in a complex that has been struck with a series of fires during the last year.

The fire was first reported at 5:38 a.m. Sunday in a parking garage at 70 Poncetta Drive, part of the 3,000-unit Westlake Village Apartments complex. Fire crews immediately called a second alarm because the blaze was burning beneath people’s apartments, according to Angelina Ciucci, spokeswoman for the North County Fire Department.

"When they arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from the garage," Ciucci said. The fire was under control within 25 minutes, and residents were allowed back into their apartments by 7:30 a.m.

No one was injured. One car, located 10 to 15 feet from the fire, suffered minor damage, according to Ciucci. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The blaze follows a midnight fire at Westlake Village in June, which was sparked in a recycling bin inside a parking garage at 75 Poncetta Drive. Trash bins have been set alight several times since July 2006, and a car was set on fire in the garage at 75 Poncetta Drive in February of 2007.

Residents told The Examiner in June that their cars had been vandalized with spray paint; some had their tires slashed.

"There have been a number of fires at the Poncetta Drive apartments," Ciucci said. "They are all still under investigation, so there’s not a lot we can talk about."

Managers at the Westlake Village Apartments did not return calls for comment Sunday.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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