One injured in furniture store fire in central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- This was the haunting scene at Belmont and Cedar as flames ripped through a furniture store -- collapsing the roof.

"We have totally lost this building and this business," says Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Kirk Wanless.

The fire broke out just after 4 pm Saturday afternoon.

When crews arrived, flames were shooting out of the building.

The furniture inside the store only fueled the raging fire -- which crews had to battle from the outside.

"It is all this furniture which is highly combustible," Wanless said. "There is a lot of wood and often a lot of the components that go into coaches and beds, there are a lot of bed mattresses back there. That stuff is usually very flammable."

The store owner told Action News off-camera that the store was fully stocked. It had also been in his family since 1983.

The fire sent a dark plume of smoke into the air that Eddy Hollingsawrth saw from several blocks away.

"Black like a tire a shop," he said.

Hollingswarth used to be a volunteer firefighter and has lost everything to a house fire before.

He felt like he needed to do something to help.

"I figured I would come down here to see if they needed assistance or if they needed help getting people out," he said.

Crews were able to control the flames on their own -- as Hollingswarth watched from the sidelines.

No one was inside the furniture store at the time, but fire officials say a person living next to the building was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

"I hope and prayed nobody got hurt," Hollingswarth said. "My prayers went to the firefighters and they are still going with the firefighters."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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