Victims of Pico Rivera Fire Eligible for Federal Disaster Loans

PICO RIVERA (CNS) - Residents and businesses affected by a massive fire at a Pico Rivera apartment complex are eligible for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration and can visit Pico Rivera City Hall for assistance starting today.

The Feb. 22 blaze at the Corsica Apartment Homes in the 9100 block of Burke Street displaced about 300 people and many pets and caused minor injuries to a firefighter and two civilians.

``SBA is strongly committed to providing California with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help finance recovery for businesses and residents affected by the disaster,'' SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. ``Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.''

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged assets, and the SBA said it can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are also available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, while homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

``Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,'' said Director Tanya N. Garfield of the SBA's Disaster Field Operations Center-West.

The SBA said representatives would be on hand starting today at its Disaster Loan Outreach Center at Pico Rivera City Hall at 6615 Passons Blvd. to assists applicants with the process. The center will be open from noon to 5 p.m. today, and then from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays until April 19.

Applicants may also apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at Applicants may also call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

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