Dog dies, two houses destroyed in Fresno fire

June 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Fresno man's desperate attempt to save his house, his work, and his friend's dog ended with him overwhelmed by the flames, and his life left in ashes.

"I went through the window and I went in the backyard, got a water hose and tried to help put the fire out," he said.

The fire destroyed two homes and a trailer on Hedges and Backer in east central Fresno.

There's not much left on the property except for ashes and the burned-out foundation of a couple homes.

Four people and a dog lived here until Tuesday.

Now the dog is dead and the residents are looking for somewhere else to restart their lives.

As smoke billowed from the vents of his home and a firefighter ten feet above ground soaked the house with water, the man who lived inside could only stand and watch.

He didn't want to give us his name, but he told Action News the fire started while he was visiting a friend in the adjacent airstream trailer.

At the sight of flames, his first thought was to save his friend's dog.

"His dog was chained up to a toolbox and I tried to get over to it, but the fire was too hot," he said. "There was no way I could get over there."

As he retreated, firefighters rushed in to attack the fire, but a series of small explosions forced them to keep their distance.

"There was nobody inside," said Fresno Fire Department spokesman Koby Johns. "Most of the structure at that point was already involved with the fire. It's not worth risking a firefighter life to go into those kind of situations."

Paint cans, propane gas tanks, and other explosives eventually gave way to thick smoke and one of two homes on the property eventually fell.

Fire also destroyed a trailer where the resident kept parts to work on cars, and the Airstream trailer, where his friends lived.

He'll walk away with his life, but not much else.

"I'm dumbfounded really because now, what do I do?" he said. "I have to start over again and you know, where do I go?"

Arson investigators spent several hours sifting through the embers, but so far, they do not know what caused the fire.

All they'll say is it's suspicious.


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