After flames destroy Fresno home, firefighters share tips to help keep your home safe

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The fire-ravaged remains of a Northeast Fresno home show the devastation caused by a three-alarm blaze.

The fire that broke out Monday evening marks the 402nd structure fire Fresno firefighters have responded to this year.

Investigators say the flames sparked in a recycling bin adjacent to the East Essex home and spread to the attic.

RELATED: Flames tear through Northeast Fresno home, family make it out safely

"During summertime, those bins are pretty much at a temperature to burn just awaiting an ignition source to light them," said Fire deputy chief Rich Cabral.

Crews spent more than an hour attacking the flames to prevent them from spreading to neighboring homes.

Though it's unclear what ignited the fire, Cabral is urging the importance of prevention, starting with some housekeeping items -- like where to keep your recycling bin.

"Keep it behind the locked gate against the fence area, I wouldn't suggest having it against the home," Cabral said. "Make sure it isn't overfilled and that the lid is closed."

He says something as simple as a cigarette but or charcoal can start a blaze.
In addition to prevention and safety practices in the kitchen, garage and storage areas, have a detection system and an evacuation plan.

Deputy chief Cabral attributes one life-saving decision to why the family got out of the home unharmed.

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"They decided they were going to get out immediately which is the right thing to do and then call 911," he said.

As for planning your escape, identify two exit routes and a meeting place, something that benefits firefighters as well.

"If we know in advance that everyone is out of that home, then according to our risk management practices, we're going to take risks with controls in place so our firefighters can go home at the end of the shift," Cabral said.

This fire, and the growing number of house fires, also shed light on the significant need for red cross volunteers. You can sign up on their website red cross dot org slash volunteers.
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