NW Fresno apartment fire displaces four families

FRESNO, Calif.

Fire crews doused the flames coming from one apartment unit that quickly spread to others. "There was nothing going on, then all of a sudden just billows of smoke started coming out," said neighbor Doris Frye. The fire broke out this morning in the Arbor Ridge apartments.

"They were just banging and banging on the door and my brother finally heard him and woke me up," said one woman who was woken up as smoke began making its way into her unit.

"I saw a lot of smoke in there after I walked out, I was so concentrated on getting us out. I just grabbed my jacket, my slippers, and baby," she said.

Officials believe the fire started inside this living room from the gas fireplace that was left on overnight. A smoke alarm woke up the family inside. Fortunately all of the family members were able to escape along with other tenants but four apartments were damaged.

"Everybody came out okay, it looked to me that they were fine. Maybe a little traumatized by the whole deal, woken up by the experience," said Frye.

Four people were treated for smoke inhalation and one person received minor burns trying to put out the fire. All were treated at the scene.

"There are four family units that are going to be displaced. We have contacted Red Cross. They will be sending a representative to determine if they're any housing needs or immediate fire victim needs that the families will need," said Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Casey Clark.

Fire crews say a more serious tragedy could have resulted if the smoke detector was not working.

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