OXNARD (CBSLA.com) — More than 60 people, including 20 children, are housed at an intermediate school in Oxnard until the Red Cross can find them permanent housing.

The families were displaced last Friday by a fire that destroyed six buildings and three garages along the 1200 block of South Oxnard.

The gym of the R.J. Frank Intermediate School is now home for the displaced residents.

The American Red Cross is running the shelter and answering the call of helping the displaced, many of them farm workers who don’t have any where else to go.

As Amy Johnson reported for CBS2, the Red Cross is trying to find real housing — but in the meantime make the gym residents as comfortable as possible.

Theresa Rivera, her husband, 3-year-old son and 26-day-old baby enjoy a little family bonding time — something they normally did in their apartment.

Now they have to make do.

“It’s hard,” says Rivera, “it’s been very hard. But the Red Cross has been very helpful.”

It’s been a week since the fire did so much destruction but the memory is still very vivid in Rivera’s mind.

“I went outside and saw the fire and it was very scary,” she said.

“This was a very large operation for us. We had about 70 people impacted by the fire,” said Giselle Gomez of the Red Cross.

“The families we are serving lived within the school district, we really have an obligation to serve them,” said Maria Elena Plaza, the school’s principal.

Johnson says the 1,300 students at the school normally use the gym for physical education classes and even the place where they students ate lunch. In the interim, all the lunch tables have moved outside.

“We have restructured all of our daily activities but in a way where instruction is not interrupted. It’s just a different flow of traffic,” says Plaza.

For more information about helping the Red Cross, click here.


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