An apartment building, directly behind a fire station, burst into flames in central Fresno on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m., according to the Fresno City Fire Department.
When firefighters arrived they saw flames coming from an upstairs room inside of the four-plex at 2639 W Fairmont Ave., said battalion chief Casey Clark.
The fire broke out in the stairway leading to one of the bedrooms and progressed into an upstairs bedroom, Clark said.
“The apartment is vacant, but it has been broken into and there are signs of people living in the apartment unofficially,” said Clark. “They pulled off boards and slipped in. (We) do not know how long they’ve been in there but it looks like they’ve been camping in this apartment for some time.”
“We ordered a second alarm, but fortunately we did not have to use that second alarm,” said Clark. “We used a first alarm, which (includes) 5 fire engines and 2 ladder trucks.”
People did live in the front unit of the apartment, but the family was not home at the time of the fire, Clark said.
The Red Cross was contacted to help a mother and three children that lived near the burning apartment. As a precaution, they were encouraged not to stay in their apartment for the night, but they are expected to resettle tomorrow, said Clark.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Tuesday night.