Fresno Fire Tackles Six Fires before Noon

October 21, 2008 6:23:31 PM PDT
A chaotic morning around the city of Fresno. Firefighters scrambled from house fire after house fire. Six of them, all before noon.Chief Randy Bruegman described it as extremely rare. "To have 6 structure fires, each one of them working structure fires in a morning is highly unusual."

Investigators have ruled out arson in each case. Just after 10 am Tuesday an apartment on West Clinton in central Fresno caught fire. At first, someone thought there may be children inside so extra firefighters and paramedics were sent out. Turns out the apartment was empty but two units were damaged.

As that scene was cleared another call came in. A house fire about a mile away. That home belongs to Deanna Brown and her 10 children, 6 of whom live with her. "All my daughters' stuff they've been saving all their lives is in there."

As Deanna comforted her children on her neighbor's lawn, Fresno firefighters got two more calls. Within one minute of one another, two more homes caught fire. Chief Bruegman said, "At one point in the city we were down to having 3 engines left in service."

Bruegman said his department was stretched very thin but every fire and medical emergency got covered. Deanna's home though, is a total loss. She said, "We just don't have no place to go."

Even 5 year old Tatum understood what was going on. When asked why he was crying he said, "Cause our couch is all burned."

Tatum's 12 year old sister Miranda is a seventh grader at Cooper Middle School. She said, "I don't know what I'm going to do. Everything is gone. I had everything in my room."

But this loving hug reminded her she still has her family. A family that now has to start all over. The Red Cross is helping the Brown family but they're going to need a lot of help because they're starting from scratch.

Chief Bruegman says it's a good thing the city added more firefighters and equipment in the last few years or else they wouldn't have been able to handle all these emergencies at one time.

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