Series of fires put strain on firefighters, Red Cross in Fresno

Flames tore through multiple units at an apartment complex on Sunday morning, displacing 14 adults and 4 children.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Several weekend fires put strain on firefighters, Red Cross in Fresno
Fresno firefighters and the Red Cross are bracing for more hot and dangerous days this summer.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A series of fires had Fresno crews stretched thin over the weekend.

The fires put a strain not only on first responders but also on the Red Cross.

An apartment fire off McKinley and Maple avenues is one of the fires that kept firefighters busy in the last 72 hours.

The flames tore through multiple units Sunday morning, displacing 14 adults and 4 children.

"These incidents are very devastating to those that are involved and impacted by the fire. We as a fire department, we do everything we can to try and salvage whatever personal belongings that we are able to salvage from the apartment or the home," said Christine Wilson with the Fresno Fire Department.

Central Valley Red Cross Executive Director Laura Wilson says her team had a very busy weekend, helping nearly 80 displaced families throughout the region.

"This weekend is heavy. This weekend in the four years that I have been here (was) one of the busiest weekends that I can recall for our team," Laura explained,

Helmet camera video shows another apartment fire on Robinson Avenue in Central Fresno Saturday night.

Several others, from grass fires to vacant structure fires, have been keeping crews on the run at all times of the day.

Now, as temperatures heat up, the department has dispatched its CERT volunteer teams as additional resources to support the health and safety of firefighters

"Wearing our fire gear adds about 15 degrees more in temperature. That places a huge factor in our rehab protocols and safety. We make sure our firefighters are rehabbed appropriately," Christine said.

The Fresno Fire Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, provides support in a number of ways at the scene of a fire.

That includes helping firefighters rehabilitate with shade and water to prevent heat-related illnesses.

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