TAKING A CLOSER LOOK: Santa Monica fire fighters gather outside of the Gate of India restaurant on Monday afternoon inspecting the damage caused by an early morning fire. (Daniel Archuleta daniela@www.smdp.com)

At 7:45 p.m. on Dec. 12 the Santa Monica Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire at 1605 Ocean Front Walk.

The first arriving units on the scene found the second story of an apartment building fully involved with fire and smoke.

According to the Santa Monica Fire Department, an aggressive attack helped to contain and stop the fire from spreading, or causing any damage, to the adjacent buildings on both sides of the structure.

The SMFD reported that it took approximately 40 minutes to get the fire under control, but that the incident lasted another three hours while engine companies performed overhaul and mop-up to fully extinguish the fire.

Six Santa Monica Fire Department engine companies, one truck company, a Haz-Mat unit and five Americare ambulances all responded to the fire. The Los Angeles City Fire Department provided three engines, one truck company and four rescue ambulances, and two chief officers to help at the fire scene and assist with other emergencies in the city for the duration of the fire. Santa Monica Police assisted with scene evacuation, traffic control and security.

20 residents were displaced by the fire and three were taken to the local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. The Red Cross responded, and is assisting the displaced residents with temporary shelter. SMFD is also helping to house several of the residents. There were no firefighters injured during the incident.

The cause and origin of the fire are still under investigation.