Fire torches land near Fresno airport, threatening apartments

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The 10-acre blaze happened feet away from an apartment complex where more than 100 people live. (KFSN)

An abandoned golf course caught fire Wednesday afternoon, scaring residents at a nearby apartment complex.

That fire broke out just after four this evening along Dakota Avenue in east-central Fresno.

Flames raced quickly across dry grass and up a nearly 20-foot tree shocking witnesses.

"When that flame hit that tree man I tell you it was just chilling," Danny Ayers of Fresno said.

The 10-acre blaze happened feet away from an apartment complex where more than 100 people live.

"We saw a couple of them like screaming running out with their kids," witness Jamie Mullis said.

More than 50 firefighters were dispatched in triple digit weather to control the blaze.

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Amanda Kemp, who lives in one of the units here, says her neighbors tried to help too.

"There was a lot of neighbors who were grabbing water houses and they were connecting hoses up and everybody went to go help," she said.

Kemp says with all the dry brush in the area she knew it was just a matter of time before it sparked.

"We knew it was dangerous for it to be like it was," Kemp explained. "I was really concerned about it hitting any of these high trees and all of that going up as well because it's way too close to the apartment."

The fire also crossed Dakota Avenue, stopping traffic after trees in front of the Air National Guard Base went up in flames as well.

"You never know what a fire can do, and, as you saw, the fire just jumped the street within seconds," Hector Vasquez with the Fresno Fire Department said.

And it was a scary sight for folks standing by, watching firefighters work in extreme heat to keep them safe.

"We saw them walking in there and it's crazy, they're putting their lives at risk for stuff like this," Ayers said.

"These men and women are heroes in my book," Mullis added.
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