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Aging Buildings, Wiring Problems Arise With Latest Apartment Fire

PALM SPRINGS – An apartment fire in Palm Springs has some people wanting to move out because of poor electrical wiring. The fire broke out Thursday morning at the Continental Garden Apartments on Sunrise Way and Amado Road.

One apartment was destroyed, and a family of four lost their home and their dog in the fire.

RP Management Company runs the place. It also manages Andalucia Apartments, which was the location of two fires last year and the focus of a News Channel 3 investigation on fire alarm safety.

“Absolutely everything’s been brought to code. Everything’s happy. Everything’s good. We’re in good shape everywhere,” Tori Ringline with RP Management said.

We asked, “So, [do you] mind if we ask the residents if they heard the alarm?”

“I do. I prefer if you just let them be right now, because we’ve still getting settled in,” Ringline responded.

We didn’t take “no” for an answer. So, we talked to Paul Polley. He lives next to the apartment destroyed in the fire.

“My apartment was already filled with smoke by the time I heard the alarm,” Polley recalled.”The building’s been on fire three orfourtimes in the lasttwo years. And this was an electrical fire. And, I just…”

We asked, “Do you feel safe here?”

“No. No, I don’t,” she answered.

When we asked, “Are you thinking of moving?” Polley’s answer was, “Yes, I am.”

The electrical wiring inside these older apartment buildings are a problem, according to residents.

“You’ve had electrical surges in your apartment quite a bit?”we asked.

Paul Polley replied, “Oh, yeah. Justthree orfour weeks ago, we had one and it just blew my television right out.”

Palm Springs has some of the oldest apartment buildings in the valley, challenging Palm Springs Fire to check them all out.

Palm Springs Fire says since thetwo fires at the Andalucia Apartments, every alarm was checked out and many will be upgraded with strobe lights. Division Chief Scott Ventura says RP Management Company is “working well” with them, perhaps better than the last time we tried to get answers from them.

Last April, we went into the management office of the Andalucia Apartments. A manager named Rose put her hands over our camera lens when we commented.

“There’s been two fires in the past few months…”

“No comment,” she replied.

When we pressed, “Don’t the residents deserve some answers?”

The manager replied, “Will you please leave my office?”

Palm Springs firefighters acted quick enough to keep this fire from spreading. But some people living at Continental Gardens Apartments fear that if nothing is done to fix this place, they may lose their homes, too.

KESQ News Team

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