A Lemoore apartment building was destroyed Sunday afternoon when flames consumed 16 apartments and left 15 families homeless, a police official said.
Sgt. Oscar Lucio called the Tanglewood Apartments building at the corner of East Hanford-Armona Road and Lemoore Avenue a total loss. Lucio estimated that 15 to 20 Lemoore volunteer firefighters and 10 to 15 Kings County firefighters battled the blaze, which broke out around 11 a.m. and lasted well into the afternoon.
Lucio said that one volunteer firefighter suffered a minor injury that was not fire related, and one police officer was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene. No residents were injured.
Lemoore Mayor Bill Siegel said he was grateful that no one was seriously hurt.
"It is a blessing that nobody lost their lives," he said. Siegel said he believed the blaze was one of the worst the city of Lemoore had seen since a 2007 fire on Hazelwood Drive that killed a young couple and three children.
Siegel said that a new engine, delivered just three months ago and featuring a 75-foot ladder, did the brunt of the firefighting Sunday. The massive ladder allowed firefighters to spray a continuous stream of water straight down onto the burning building.
The American Red Cross was called in to aid the displaced families.
According to Siegel, the Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino donated rooms at its Sequoia Inn hotel in Hanford to help shelter displaced families. The Best Western Inn in Lemoore also donated rooms.
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