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Approximately 15 apartment units damaged in three-alarm fire in southeast Fresno

Fire tears through Fresno apartments, displacing 30 to 50 residents

A Fresno apartment complex suffered extensive damage in a fire Thursday. The three-alarm fire started at about 2:25 p.m. at the Sunset Sands complex at 4585 N. McKinley Ave. near Maple Avenue.
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A Fresno apartment complex suffered extensive damage in a fire Thursday. The three-alarm fire started at about 2:25 p.m. at the Sunset Sands complex at 4585 N. McKinley Ave. near Maple Avenue.

A Fresno apartment complex suffered extensive damage in a fire Thursday afternoon.

The three-alarm fire started at about 2:25 p.m. at the Sunset Sands complex at 4585 E. McKinley Ave. near Maple Avenue.

Approximately 15 units caught fire and suffered smoke damage and water damage, displacing 30 to 50 residents.

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Resident Katherine Thong, 24, said she was at home with her three children when “I heard smoke alarms going off.”

She lives in a second-floor apartment and said the fire started in the unit below hers.

The manager of the apartment helped her get the children to safety, she said.

This apartment complex caught fire on Nov. 15, 2018.

Deputy Fire Chief Rich Cabral said it is believed the fire started as a cooking fire, but it’s not yet known if anyone was in the unit at the time.

There are several buildings of apartment units in the complex, but firefighters kept it from spreading to others, Cabral said.

Jennie Duarte said she got a call that her daughter’s apartment building was on fire.

“I started crying,” when she arrived and saw how bad it was, she said.

Her 23-year-old daughter was out of town with her baby boy.

“He loves dinosaurs; I hope we can save some of them,” but it looks like the content of the unit are a total loss, she said.

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A firefighter takes on a blaze at an apartment complex on North McKinley Avenue in Fresno, CA on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.

Aaron Jenkins, 34, said he was at the store when the fire broke out and returned to see the fire before firefighters got there.

“I tried to open the window to make sure no one was in there,” but he cut his hand on the glass.

His mother lived there and was able to escape, but her apartment was destroyed. Jenkins lived in a different apartment in the same building and it was also destroyed, he said.

The Red Cross has been asked to assist those displaced, the fire department said.

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