Fresno's first fire of the year caused by arson

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Fire Department is investigating its first blaze of 2019, and it just may have an impact on Valley children into the new year.

The fire broke out early on Tuesday morning at a city building at Romain Park in central Fresno.

The city owns the Romain Neighborhood Center and used by the PARC's department. The center is a very important resource in this underserved community, and its closure could leave a significant impact.

Crews responded to the fire just a little after three on Tuesday morning.

The fire started outside and then made its way inside - five engines and two trucks responded.

The building was well secured, so fire crews had to force their way in.

They had to use bolt cutters to bypass locks.

They were able to put out the fire with the help of 20 firefighters.

Fire officials say the fire was started after someone lit three porta-potties near the building which quickly spread to the structure.

At this point, it's unclear when the building might open back up.

According to firefighters, there was substantial damage done to the exterior of the building. The inside was also damaged by the fire and smoke.

Multiple programs are held at the park like Fresno PAL's boxing.

At this time it is unclear how the fire will affect any programs.
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