FRESNO, CA (KMJ) – Fresno Fire was stretched thin while responding to a 3-alarm apartment fire on Tuesday in Northeast Fresno.
The 2-alarm fire turned into 3-alarms, and 50 firefighters — half of the Fresno Fire Department — were assigned to put out the blaze.
The fire was visible for miles, all the way to the KMJ Studios on Palm and Shaw.
“It was such hot flames I could feel it from the front of the house,” said Jeremy Wilson, one of the residents of the triplex.
— Fresno Fire PIO (@FresnoFire) October 9, 2018
The blaze started around 12:30p.m. in the building located on the 6300 block of N. Fresno Street, north of Escalon Avenue, and just south of Sierra.
Fresno Fire’s Deputy Chief Rich Cabral (below) said they believe it started in the back of the building, where a large amount of debris was placed.
“We actually made a pretty good save on all three units, but we have damage – significant damage and they’re really not inhabitable,” said Deputy Chief Cabral.
The Red Cross is helping five adults and two children who are now displaced by the blaze.
Jeremy Wilson, one of the displaced residents (below), stood in front of the building with his young daughter Aria, while his wife (above in red) sat on a rock holding their infant in her arms, while their three dogs roamed the grass.
“We were out front playing music, my wife came out with the baby,” said Wilson. “All of a sudden she says there was smoke, started knocking on doors, got everybody out of the middle building that was on fire, and the smoke was already coming, starting to come through their house, and so we got the babies out – backed up from the flames.”
The Fresno Fire Department is conducting an investigation.
Hazmat also responded because they thought there were chemicals, but nothing was found.
Deputy Chief Cabral said Fresno Police questioned one man from an apartment.
Fresno Police on scene said no arrests have been made.
Click to listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: