Downed power line sparked Fresno County fire that destroyed two homes, fire officials say

Tiffany Olin Image
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Downed power line sparked Fresno County fire that destroyed two homes, fire officials say
Investigators believe a downed power line destroyed two Fresno County homes and killed one dog Tuesday afternoon.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Flames and heavy smoke consumed the area of Sussex Way and Thorne Avenue in Fresno County Tuesday afternoon.

Daryl and Cathy Christoffersen live in the area and saw the smoke coming from their neighbor's house.

"We ran around like chickens with our heads off. What are you going to do? There's smoke coming out the back window," Daryl said.

Multiple homes on the north side of Sussex were evacuated as the flames tore through the properties.

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"The back fence was on fire, the bushes were on fire, the backyard was completely engulfed. The power lines were burning. Everything out the back window was on fire," the pair said.

The blaze destroyed two homes and left backyards charred.

"The third home that was affected was primarily a detached garage that was a total loss, but the home we were able to save with minimal damage and the two primary homes right next to each other were a total loss," North Central Fire Protection District Deputy Fire Chief, Jacob McAfee explained.

Investigators say the fire displaced five people and ten animals - and left one dog dead.

It also caused power outages for at least 300 customers.

"Preliminary reports from the fire investigation indicate that there was a power line that was faulty and caused the fire--that was the initial call as well," McAfee stated. "There were reports of multiple power lines down as well, but we didn't find that to be true. It was just the initial power line that started the fire."

We reached out to PG&E who say the incident is still being investigated and the cause is undetermined.

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