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BREAKING NEWS - Collegeville Multi Alarm Blaze Destroys Homes
Fire crews from several departments responded to a multi-alarm blaze on Kaiser Road in Collegeville on Thursday morning, with the fire displacing several families from what used to be a labor camp.

Now used for housing, officials said five units - all believed to be occupied - were destroyed in the blaze. Collegeville Fire Chief Dennis Faist said when his first crew arrived on the scene, there was smoke showing from the attic and additional fire units were quickly called in. The fire was in the 5100 block of Kaiser, off Mariposa Road.

Addresses of the involved housing units on Kaiser were 5137, 5143, 5149, 5155 and 5161.

Collegeville, Farmington, Waterloo-Morada, Montezuma, Linden, Escalon and Ripon all had units on the scene, including several water tenders, since there are no hydrants in that area.

Red Cross volunteers were also on scene, assessing the needs of the many displaced families. All were being provided with housing for the night, some food and fresh clothes.

"This was originally a farm labor camp," explained Collegeville Assistant Chief Kurt Pettit. "Now it's divided up into housing, it was just contained to this one building."

The five units shared a common attic, he said, which allowed the fire to spread rapidly to all the units.

No injuries were reported but it took crews nearly two hours to contain the fire and several more to do the 'mop up' operations.

Look for a full story and photos in the April 22 issue of The Times.