Explosive Fresno House Fire

5/13/2008 Fresno, CA Neighbors said they heard a bang or a series of bangs; then saw the smoke and flames. The inside of the main house is heavily damaged and a rear addition is completely gone. The couple's collection of exotic birds all perished in the flames, despite a neighbor's effort to save them.

The neighborhood was shaken by what sounded like gunfire, or fireworks, and suddenly the house was in flames.

Neighbor William Scott rushed out with a garden house to try and save the house, and the owner's collection of birds. "She had a collection birds, big birds, little birds, Macaws, beautiful birds, I hosed them down as long as I could," said Scott.

Firefighters were on the scene in five minutes, but Scott was unable to save the birds. A large aviary behind the house was incinerated along with a rear addition and the rest of the home appeared to be a near total loss.

Rich cabral with the Fresno Fire Department: "When we first arrived we had very heavy flames that were not only coming from this structure but also impinging on the homes on either side of it. So it took firefighters some time to get the fire under control and then begin an interior attack on this fire."

Nobody was home when the fire started, neighbors say the owners were hysterical when they arrived home to see the damage, and realized the loss of their animals. "And they're the nicest people in the world and she is an animal lover," said Scott.

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