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Fire roars through empty building in southwest Fresno

Firefighters pour water from a ladder truck onto a commercial building Friday night, Dec. 4, 2015 in southwest Fresno.
Firefighters pour water from a ladder truck onto a commercial building Friday night, Dec. 4, 2015 in southwest Fresno. bwebster@fresnobee.com

An empty commercial building in southwest Fresno went up in flames late Friday night.

The building on Elm Avenue just north of Jensen Avenue is next-door to the state Employment Development Department office. At one time, a sign on the front advertised it as a furniture store.

Flames shot out of the roof of the building as firefighters used a ladder truck to spray water from above. Battalion Chief Don Bier said crews planned to let the fire burn itself out.

A homeless encampment is visible behind the building, but Bier said no one was inside the building when they arrived.

Overhead power lines sagged while the fire raged, but Bier said crews were able to keep the lines from being damaged.

Bier said the building has had several previous fires.

There was no immediate word about cause of the fire.

Bridget Webster: 559-441-6304, @bridgetw05

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