Massive fire devastates Central Fresno neighborhood

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A fire in central Fresno has left several families without a home Thursday.

The fire broke out near Iowa and Orchard Streets just before 6 p.m. and because of its size crews from Fresno County and city responded to the call.

The street was lined with fire trucks and firefighters working and one neighbor said the flames were about 30-feet high.

With her baby in her arms, Lisa Van ran for safety when a fire tore through her home.

"I was just inside the room getting ready to go to bed," she said. "And I just took the baby and ran outside."

Fire officials say it started in a detached garage behind Van's home.

"I don't know what could've cause it just caught on fire," Fresno Fire Department Batt. Chief Todd Tuggle explained.

The thick flames then spread to three neighboring homes.

Demitrius Myurs tried putting them out with his water hose.

"I stayed there and battled it until the fire department went on the neighbor's roof," he said. "But by that time the flames had got too high and heat was too hot."

Those flames also ran through a two-story apartment complex where Carnessa Hutchins was babysitting twin 8-month-old girls.

"It was flames right at the door," she said. "We went out the back gate, there's a barbed wire fence and we just out safe as fast as possible."

At one point, 40 firefighters were working to put out the fire.

It burned four homes, a detached garage and an apartment before it was put out.

The families affected say they're just glad everyone made it out safely.

"It was a relief to know everything was okay," Hutchins said.
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