A pair of central Fresno apartment blazes, including a three-alarm fire, taxed firefighter resources across the city Tuesday night, fire officials said.
Firefighters arrived at an apartment complex at 3874 N. Millbrook Ave., north of Dakota Avenue, around 9:30 p.m. and faced an explosion five minutes later as they pulled back from the three apartment units engulfed in flames, Fresno fire Battalion Chief Bob Van Tassel said. The force blew a few pieces of the roof into a nearby parking lot.
Fire officials called two more alarms to fight the inferno and were able to stop it at a fourth unit, but it sustained substantial damage, Van Tassel said. The fire displaced 20 people and the Red Cross was dispatched to assist with relocating them.
The blaze was estimated to have caused an estimated $400,000 in damages, Fresno fire spokesman Hector Vasquez said.
A total of 58 firefighters including nine engines, four trucks, two battalion chiefs and numerous support units responded to the Millbrook fire. Two of the firefighting units were borrowed from the Clovis Fire Department.
At the same time, firefighters fought a fourplex fire at 2785 W. Fairmont Ave., near Shaw and Marks avenues, Vasquez said. Firefighters arrived to find the blaze on the bottom floors of the apartment and extended into the upper floors.
Firefighters gained the upper hand in minutes, Vasquez said. A total of 27 firefighters were at the scene.
Fresno Fire wasn’t able to assist paramedics in medical calls for about an hour as the department dedicated most of its units to the fires, Van Tassel said. The fire department had to recall firefighters from their homes to keep enough units in reserve to respond to any other fires that could have happened.
No one was injured in either fire and both are under investigation.