Fire destroys historic building in Fresno's Chinatown

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Firefighters are working to determine what sparked a fire that destroyed a historic building in Fresno's Chinatown on Friday morning.

The fire was reported just before 2 am on Kern and F Streets.

Crews arrived to find the building engulfed in flames, with heavy smoke.

The building was marked with a big red "X," meaning it is hazardous and too dangerous for anyone to go inside. That forced crews to take on the firefight from outside the building and made searching inside impossible.

Officials say there were no reports of anyone inside the building.

Firefighters were able to get control of the flames and spent the early morning hours trying to clear hotspots. The building walls were still standing, but they were left entirely charred.

Action News spoke with a Chinatown preservation member who said that the building had been vacant for about 20 years. She said it used to belong to Fresno's Chinese Association. The group sold it to the preservation association, which had hopes of restoring the building.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The City of Fresno code enforcement and Fresno Fire Department determined the building was not structurally stable and will be torn down Friday afternoon.

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