Fresno Fire Department sees record breaking year in 2014

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The Fresno Fire Department says it had a record breaking year in 2014. The total dollar loss caused by fires reached nearly $36 million. That tops the previous record of less than $31 million set back in 2003. (KFSN)

The Fresno Fire Department says it had a record breaking year in 2014. The total dollar loss caused by fires reached nearly $36 million. That tops the previous record of less than $31 million set back in 2003.

Flames licked the night sky just one week ago destroying an abandoned church in Downtown Fresno. It's one of many deserted buildings left to ruin that crumbled to the ground at the mercy of a fire.

Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Lawrence French said, "This year we've had a couple large industry buildings that burned and we responded to multiple fires in those structures."

In 2014, Battalion Chief French says the fire department tallied almost $36 million in losses due to the large commercial fires. Like the old Del Monte building that burned not once, but twice, likely because of transients making shelter inside the building. They also had a rash of serial arsonists that could be to blame for the major destruction.

Battalion Chief French added, "The fire department is working with law enforcement, we're also working with different department entities including code enforcement and safety to make sure the buildings are safe as possible."

In the coming year Battalion Chief French says they plan on expanding their staff and hope to open an additional station. He says in the 2008-2009 fiscal year when the recession hit, the fire department suffered major losses and they are slowly rebuilding their team.



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