Northwest Fresno storage units destroyed by fire

The Fresno BeeJuly 8, 2014 

Burned items are pulled from a storage unit that caught fire Tuesday afternoon in Fresno.

BRIANNA VACCARI — The Fresno Bee

Fire destroyed two storage units Tuesday afternoon at a northwest Fresno storage company and damaged many others, city fire officials said.

At least six more of the North Gates Avenue Public Storage self-store units had heavy smoke damage, and more were flooded from firefighting efforts, said Thomas Cope, a battalion chief for the Fresno Fire Department. The initial fire started in one unit and spread to a second about 5 p.m., Cope said.

Firefighters had to cut the locks and force their way into at least 10 units. Most units had household items, electronics and furniture. None of them had any hazardous materials or flammable gasses, Cope said.

Cope did say that since the units are lightly constructed and packed with material that acts as fuel, it was a challenging job for firefighters.

Cope estimated anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 of belongings was stored in each unit and subject to loss.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire, but each unit had its own electrical outlet and none had any sprinklers, which Cope said was unusual, though sprinklers are not required in that type of storage unit.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or bvaccari@fresnobee.com.

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