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Official: Budget cuts to blame for fire's spread
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SACRAMENTO . (AP) — A Sacramento fire official said budget cuts are in part to blame for the spread of a fire in a city neighborhood.

Assistant Chief Niko King told the Sacramento Bee the temporary closure of the fire station closest to Wednesday morning's blaze in the Oak Park neighborhood delayed the arrival of an engine with a hose and water. During that time, the fire spread from a detached garage to a nearby shed before igniting a back porch and then scorching the side of an adjacent house.

One person suffered moderate burn injuries, King said.

The nearest fire station had been taken out service that morning as part of budget cuts.

King said firefighters were on the scene at 8:24 a.m., about three minutes after the fire was reported. But the closest engine with the hose and water did not arrive until 8:27 a.m.

In the wake of service cuts caused by large budget deficits, Sacramento residents can vote for a sales tax increase of half a percent in November. If the initiative passes, the sales tax will increase to 8.25 percent, raising an estimated $28 million.