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Fire engulfs furniture store in southeast Fresno

A worker from David Knott Incorporated tapes off the perimeter as cleanup crews begin salvaging what’s left of Hall’s Furniture Friday morning, Dec. 28, 2018 in Fresno. A fire was reported early Friday which consumed the furniture store located at Belmont Avenue and Fifth Street.
A worker from David Knott Incorporated tapes off the perimeter as cleanup crews begin salvaging what’s left of Hall’s Furniture Friday morning, Dec. 28, 2018 in Fresno. A fire was reported early Friday which consumed the furniture store located at Belmont Avenue and Fifth Street. ezamora@fresnobee.com

The fire department is investigating a fire that destroyed a southeast Fresno furniture store early Friday morning.

The fire at Hall’s Furniture on Belmont Avenue at Fifth Street was reported around 5 a.m., initially through a 911 call. About an hour later, the Fresno Fire Department said its crews were switching to a defensive posture as engines poured water on the structure.

Fire spokesman Robert Castillo on Friday afternoon said investigators were still trying to determine how the fire started. He said investigators will try to access any surveillance footage from the area to help in the investigation. The damage cost was estimated at $350,000.

The furniture store was not open for business, according to City of Fresno spokesman Mark Standriff. He said the owners, a husband and wife who were in Seattle when the fire happened, were notified of the fire and that their building was demolished by city crews.

Standriff said he was told the business had issues with homeless people accessing the building, so it was locked. The owners will work with the city on steps for the business property when they return in January. It was unclear how long the building had been closed.

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