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Residents Near Murphys Fire Forced From Homes

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Thirty-five people who live next to the Bret Harte Center in Murphys are being displaced from their homes tonight as a result of this morning´s huge fire.

The large, single story structure along Highway 4 in Calaveras County, was fully involved when firefighters arrived at the scene shorty after 4 a.m. Monday morning. The structure has been vacant for nearly two years.

Murphys Fire Chief Pat Murphy says a sewer line directly beneath the burnt-out building has collapsed from the fire, shutting down sewer service to a number of small homes located on the grounds. Water and electrical service has also been cut off to the homes.

Murphy describes the cause of the fire as suspicious in origin. The fire is still under investigation.

The American Red Cross has been called in to aid those that have to leave their homes.