Merced apartment fire destroys 16 units

FRESNO, Calif.

                  |   Watch Videos Above for Extended Coverage   |

It started after midnight at the Willowbrook Apartments on Willowbrook and Highway 59. Firefighters had to call three alarms, bringing all of the city's engines to the scene.

More than a dozen families woke up to fast-moving flames that sent them running from their homes.

"We just heard this loud explosion...nothing but smoke and flames coming up."

The Red Cross said they are helping out people who live in those units by finding them places to stay in a nearby apartment complex.

It's not yet known how the fire started.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce announced today that it will act as drop-off location for clothes, blankets, non-perishable food and other items for the displaced victims of the Willowbrook Apartment Complex fire. The Chamber of Commerce is located at 360 E. Yosemite Avenue, Suite 100 (between Millenium Sports Club and Patient's First Urgent Care).

In addition to accepting donations in the Chamber's office, the Chamber will also be accepting donations this Saturday, September 4th during its "Cook-off at the Courthouse" barbecue event. The BBQ will be open to the public between 11am and 8pm at Courthouse Park, located on M Street between 21st and 20th streets in Merced.

For more information, the Chamber can be contacted at (209) 384-7092. To make a monetary donation to the victims, the American Red Cross can be contacted at (209) 383-2150.

Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.