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Apartment fire causes significant damage, displacing four families in Fresno

East Fresno apartment unit catches on fire

An apartment fire ignited Friday afternoon, leaving four families displaced in east Fresno.
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An apartment fire ignited Friday afternoon, leaving four families displaced in east Fresno.

An apartment fire Friday evening left four families displaced in east-central Fresno.

Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Randy Reitz said the fire broke out around 6:05 p.m. on Tyler Avenue just northeast of the Highway 180/168 interchange. Smoke was visible for miles.

The cause of the fire was an air vent that malfunctioned in an upstairs bathroom, Reitz said. The two-story apartment has four units.

“We were able to save the complex, but it did suffer significant damage to the upstairs unit attic space and water damage to the lower two units,” Reitz said.

No injuries were reported.

The first firefighters on scene saw heavy fire and smoke, Reitz said. The fire was starting to spread in the attic by the time fire crews got in position to fight the fire.

Crews forced their way inside the two upstairs unit because of reports someone might be inside, but no one was trapped in either unit.

Crews were able to limit the water damage on the lower units by canvassing them with tarps, Reitz said.

A total of seven fire crews and about 25 firefighters responded. It took about 20 minutes for firefighters to control the fire. The cost of the damage was unknown, Reitz said.

It’s not clear if smoke detectors went off, but Reitz took the opportunity to remind the public to regularly change smoke alarm batteries.

Marilyn Castaneda: 559-441-6087, @MarilynCast98

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