Fresno Fire sees spike in calls as temperatures drop

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Friday, December 9, 2022
Fresno Fire sees spike in calls as temperatures drop
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Crews with the Fresno Fire Department were stretched thin as they battled two commercial fires overnight.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Crews with the Fresno Fire Department were stretched thin as they battled two commercial fires overnight.

While the cause of both are under investigation, crews say they're seeing more of these fires as it gets colder.

As flames and smoke spewed from a southeast Fresno warehouse, more than 40 firefighters worked to stop the spread.

"There had already been some structural collapse and some compromised stairwells so firefighters took a defensive stance to what we call surround and drown the fire," said Fresno Fire PIO Johnathan Lopez.

Firefighters have been called to the vacant warehouse several times in the last few weeks for fires connected to homeless activity.

"When the weather gets cold a lot of un-housed folks are looking to get out of the cold weather and try and stay warm and unfortunately, they start fires intentionally or otherwise," Lopez said.

Hours later in Downtown Fresno, more than 30 firefighters were called to E Street and Stanislaus.

"This was a relatively small fire that was kept n check by the buildings sprinkler system. Kept the fire from spreading, so most of the damage to that address was water damage," said Lopez.

Investigators are looking into whether the fire was connected to homeless activity in the area.

So far this year, data shows the Fresno Fire Department has responded to more than 7,200 fires.

Almost half were connected to homeless activity, causing $7.45 million in damage.