Fire destroys 18 apartment units in Lemoore

Firefighters struggled to get control of a fire that destroyed 18 apartment units in Lemoore on Sunday.
Firefighters struggled to get control of a fire that tore through a Lemoore apartment complex on Sunday.

The fire broke out around 11 a.m. at the Tanglewood Apartments on Hanford-Armona Road near Lemoore Avenue.

About 40 people lived in the building, and from what Action News cameras captured, none of them will be able to salvage anything.

From top to bottom, everything burned as flames spread fast through 18 homes. As firefighters hosed water on the building and dumped it on the roof, they came to grips with the fact it was all a losing effort.

"We've got air conditioning units that are already falling in. The roof's falling in. It's really not safe for us to get in and fight like it should be," said Bruce German with the Lemoore Volunteer Fire Department.

The firefight took a couple hours and ended with all 18 homes destroyed -- the walls still standing, but the sun shining down through the torched roof. Firefighters say the fire found plenty of fuel inside the homes and even passed their best defenses.

"We had people on the roof ventilating, trying to stop it from coming through the attic, but it just got by us," said German.

As the fire reached its peak, Rebecca Perry saw the smoke and rushed home. Her place was in the clear and firefighters kept the flames from jumping to her building. Even dressed as a hero, Perry could only watch as the fire left her neighbors with nothing.

"I'm shocked. I feel so bad. I'm going to try to do whatever I can -- care packages or anything," said Perry.

Firefighters say nobody was hurt in the fire. They think they know where it started, thanks to some pictures on Facebook, but they're still investigating how it started.

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