Three injured in three-alarm fire in east-central Fresno

The Fresno BeeJune 20, 2014 

A mother and two children were injured when a three-alarm fire broke out at an apartment complex in east-central Fresno on Friday, June 20, 2014.

ERYN BALDRICA-GUY — The Fresno Bee

A mother, her 4-year-old son and her 8-month-old baby were in the hospital Friday night after suffering minor burns in an apartment fire in east-central Fresno, fire officials said.

Chief Kerri Donis of the Fresno Fire Department said that all three victims were injured when the mother opened her front door and super-heated gases burst into the apartment. They are being treated at Community Regional Medical Center.

The fire began around 5:30 p.m. at the Parkwood Apartment complex at 4677 E. Shields Ave. near Maple Avenue. Donis said that a tree near the 10-unit complex caught fire and spread to an adjacent apartment unit. It quickly spread throughout the entire complex.

Donis said that 48 firefighters and three battalion chiefs were on scene. "It's hot out here, and we work hard in a lot of heavy equipment," she said. "We need this many people out here to give each other a break."

A few neighbors knocked on doors to help evacuate the burning building. The American Red Cross was called in to help the displaced occupants of all 10 units. Donis said the injured family's unit is a total loss, while the other apartment sustained minor to moderate smoke damage.

It was a busy day for the Fresno Fire Department, Donis said. "This is the fourth fire we've had today," she said. "We average two working structure fires a day, so this is a very busy department. This is just how our summers are."

Fresno Fire investigators are looking into the cause of the fire.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6015 or at rappleton@fresnobee.com.

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