Death confirmed in blaze at Redwood City complex 

Local and federal officials began their investigation Monday into a fire at a Redwood City apartment complex that displaced dozens, injured more than 20 and killed at least one person.

The fire at the 72-unit building on Woodside Road a few blocks west of El Camino Real was first reported shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday morning, Redwood City spokesman Malcolm Smith said.

Fire crews arriving on the scene found heavy flames and smoke coming from the building and many residents standing on their balconies waiting to be rescued, said Redwood City Fire Marshal James Palisi.

Firefighters scaled ladders and entered burning homes to rescue the residents and helped more than a dozen people who were suffering from "minor to moderate injuries" get to local hospitals, Palisi said.

More than 100 firefighters with 20 engines and seven ladder trucks responded to the disaster, Smith said. The fire was under control by late Sunday morning.

The fire closed down Woodside Road and several surrounding blocks as firefighters battled the conflagration.

The closure of a portion of eastbound Woodside Road remained in effect through much of Monday as well.

On Monday, the Redwood City Police Department confirmed that the police; Fire Department; and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were investigating the cause of the fire.

The police said there was one confirmed fatality, and that investigators were conducting a search of the building to see if there were any additional victims still inside the structure.

The American Red Cross Bay Area said on Monday that the agency was sheltering more than 30 of the 90 people who were affected by the fire. The agency said the 30 people had stayed overnight in a shelter in Redwood City.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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