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5 displaced by fire to return home


Five of the 22 people displaced Saturday by a fire at the Chase Glen apartments in Columbia will be able to move back into their apartments this weekend, a company spokeswoman said.

l Four other units, which housed four people, are expected to be ready by the end of the month, said Lyn Lansdale, regional manager for Avalon Properties, which manages the Hickory Ridge village apartment complex.

Seven units were damaged so badly they won't be repaired for three to six months, Ms. Lansdale said. But nearly all of the 13 people who lived in those units have found other housing, she said. Four families have signed leases for other apartments in Chase Glen, and one family had bought a house before the fire.

"We've been working very hard to find alternatives to meet people's needs very soon," Ms. Lansdale said.

The early morning fire in the 10300 block of Hickory Ridge Road caused an estimated $1.1 million in damages and forced the evacuation of 60 people from 27 units. Twelve units were reoccupied soon after the fire.

The Central Maryland chapter of the Red Cross is providing food, home furnishings and clothing for about 16 people whose apartments were damaged.

Chase Glen staff and residents are organizing a benefit for the victims, primarily for the occupants of five units who suffered the greatest losses. Donations will be accepted at the Chase Glen leasing office.

The fire was the second major one in Columbia in three days. On July 13, a fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage to a maintenance building and equipment at the Hobbit's Glen Golf Club.

The state fire marshal's office is investigating the causes of both fires. Fire investigators didn't return calls yesterday.

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