Electrical-related fires kept Fresno County firefighters busy into Wednesday morning as they worked to protect homes in Calwa, Mendota and near Selma.
An elderly woman was displaced by the Calwa fire that started around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday on the 2500 block of 11th Street in southeast Fresno. Ryan Michaels, spokesman for Fresno County Cal Fire, said electrical wiring in the attic caught fire and caused about $10,000 in damages.
Michaels said a home health care worker happened to check in on the elderly woman, who is now staying with family, as the fire was starting. The worker smelled something burning then spotted smoke coming from the attic and eaves. The home had a smoke detector, but it was far from the location of the fire and didn’t sound. Michaels reminds the public that smoke detectors should be installed in bedrooms, hallways leading to bedrooms, and living rooms.
A couple hours earlier, firefighters were working to extinguish a Mendota fire on 10th and Pucheu streets. Michaels said the fire caused by electrical wiring started just before 6:50 a.m. Wednesday and displaced four adults, who were being assisted by the American Red Cross.
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Michaels said three-quarters of the home was engulfed in flames, resulting in $200,000 in damages. He said several sheds in the backyard, where people were also living, received some heat damage.
On Tuesday night, Michaels said, clothing left drying on a heater within a home near Selma ignited around 7 p.m. and grew into a fire of significant size. The fire on the 10,000 block of Highland Avenue displaced one woman, who was being assisted by family.
While no one was injured in the fires, Michaels said the public should remain aware of fire’s fatal potential. Michaels said so far this year, 202 people have died in house fires nationwide. He reminded residents that smoke alarms, early detection and having a fire escape plan can make the difference between life and death.