Fire in Northeast Fresno engulfs apartment complex

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- When the first sign of flames started shooting out of a triplex near Fresno and Sierra Avenue, it wasn't the fire department but neighbors frantically pounding at the door.

"If she wouldn't have seen something then those babies would have been hurt, because the fire was right on their doorstep," said Jeremy Wilson, who lives next door.

Wilson credits a higher power for drawing his fiancé outside right as the fire began Tuesday afternoon. They immediately started kicking in doors, grabbing their neighbors, and herding cats and dogs outside

"The whole backside was just covered in flames. It wasn't even smoke, it was absolutely hot, hot, hot flames."

At one point, half of the Fresno Fire Department was on scene, trying to put out the flames. The three alarm fire ended up damaging three units and displacing 7 people, including children.

Property Owner Joyce Richardson, is grateful for everyone's help.

"Oh it just kills me that they lost everything, all their belongings, their furniture."

Of the three units Richardson owns, firefighters were only able to partially save one. They say the wood frame combined with a shared attic made it easy for flames to spread.

"That's what insurance is for. I'm not worried about that at all, just so worried about my tenants," she said. "Just so thankful they are all okay."

Richardson says the tenants are her family. She's working with insurance, so they can come back home soon.

Firefighters are still looking into the cause, but they believe the fire started on the backside of the complex.
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