Suspected arson fire leaves five families homeless

FRESNO, Calif.

The fire happened at an apartment complex on Weldon near Fresno Street at around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Most of the fire damage was limited to two apartment units, although three other apartments suffered some damage. Authorities say they are investigating the fire as a case of arson.

Investigators say two men got into an argument, and one of those men made a threat. "One of the men allowed a friend to spend the night. That friend got upset with the man, they got in an altercation, and he said he was going to burn the apartment down. And he actually carried out what he said he was going to do -- lit a piece of newspaper on fire and lit a blanket on fire -- and that in turn started the whole apartment on fire," said Koby Johns, Fresno Fire Department.

Firefighters say that suspect has been identified, but they have not released his name.

A total of 17 people been displace as a result of the fire, including seven children. The Red Cross has been called to help the families.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.