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Four homes damaged in downtown Fresno fire

Mother, toddler son escape burning home in Fresno

Lisa Van, 32, and her 6-month-old son, Rylan, escaped their burning home in downtown Fresno on Thursday, June 30, 2016. The four-alarm residential fire damaged four homes, a garage and an apartment complex.
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Lisa Van, 32, and her 6-month-old son, Rylan, escaped their burning home in downtown Fresno on Thursday, June 30, 2016. The four-alarm residential fire damaged four homes, a garage and an apartment complex.

The Fresno Fire Department on Thursday put out a four-alarm residential fire that damaged four homes, a garage and an apartment complex in downtown Fresno.

Lisa Van, 32, said she was inside her home at 2971 E. Iowa Ave. with her six-month-old son, Rylan, when she heard a loud popping sound.

“It sounded like fireworks, and I saw red on the walls,” Van said. “I just grabbed my baby and ran.”

Van said she lives in the two-story home with her parents, brothers and two children. No one else was home at the time of the fire.

Fresno fire Deputy Chief Todd Tuggle said the blaze started about 5:30 p.m. in Van’s garage and spread to the neighboring homes and a small apartment complex.

No one was hurt, but the fire called about half of the city’s on duty firefighters into action. They will remain in the neighborhood for several hours to ensure the flames do not spread further.

Tuggle said the heat from a 100-plus degree day has drained his firefighters, and additional staff from Fresno County Fire have been called in to help the city.

It was not known how many people were displaced. The cause is under investigation, but Tuggle said the department had no report of fireworks in the area.

Van said her family has owned the house for 20 years. They have homeowner’s insurance, but only the master bedroom had a working smoke detector.

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