Historic Fresno home goes up in flames

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Huge flames ripped through the Rehorn home in downtown Fresno Monday night, more than a hundred years after it was built. (KFSN)

A historic home burned to the ground in Downtown Fresno Monday night.

Huge flames ripped through the Rehorn home, more than a hundred years after it was built.

The fire burned for hours at Mariposa and S street with a crowd watching from nearly every corner.

Fresno Fire Captain Tim Fulmer said, "it was too dangerous for our crews to be inside."

Firefighters were forced out by the heavy smoke and flames shooting out of the basement. Frank Lopez works nearby, "it just erupted...I took off for half an hour, I came back and now it's all in flames."

It was painful to watch for Daniel Chapa because the home had a history. The walls were raised in the early 1900's and the building was named the Rehorn Home. "Yeah, it really hurts. It hurts a lot," Chapa said.

The man who built the home, sold it and the Catholic church once used it as a convent. It was also a home for unwed mothers at one point and a house for communal students. In the late 70's, a couple of architects restored the home and turned it into an office. Recently, firefighters say it's been vacant.

"Now it's sad to see something that old drop," Chapa added, "we won't get the chance to let schools or kids go through it or see it."

Fortunately, no one was injured by the fire but it took more than 50 firefighters and 15 engine companies to control it. The cause, investigators say is unknown. Tyler Rountree who was watching the home burn said, "if it is arson, I hope to God we catch 'em because that sucks, it really does."

History burned slowly and a one of a kind home was left in ruins. "You'll never see anything else like it, never see anything else like it," Chapa said.

Firefighters searched the first and second floors of the home when they first showed up. They say no one was inside and it could take a while for investigators to figure out what started the fire.

Related Topics:
newsfresnobuilding fireFresno - Downtown
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