Fire sparks outside Family Dollar store in central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Firefighters say a single sprinkler saved a central Fresno business from burning to the ground on Wednesday morning.

The fire was first reported at the Family Dollar store on Olive Avenue near Highway 99 around 2 am.

When fire crews arrived, they found smoke coming from the building.

Investigators say a piece of cardboard was lit on fire behind the building. It burned through some plywood and spread into the store, setting off the sprinkler.

"The sprinkler activated and basically saved any further damage. So it's a really good opportunity to point out the sprinkler made an effect, and kept a major part of the building from being damaged," Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Bob Van Tassel.

Firefighters believe a homeless person started the fire outside the building.

It's unclear how many products were damaged by the sprinkler water.
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