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Three-alarm fire destroys two homes

A busy day for Fresno firefighters as they battled the blazes.
The fire broke out just before noon on Hedges and Sierra Vista not far from Olive and Chestnut. The flames jumped from a home to a nearby equipment shed and mobile home.
More than 30 Fresno firefighters battled to control the blazes at both of the homes Tuesday afternoon.
The man who lived at one of the homes said he heard loud noises while visiting a neighbor.  When he stepped outside, he found his house on fire.

"That's when I went through the window in the back yard and got a water hose and tried to put the fire out," said the homeowner.

The fire department said the man was a gun collector. He reportedly had ammo and other flammable liquids along with  propane tanks, making conditions dangerous.
 
"Anytime we have a fire we think of things that are gonna kill us.  Explosions, electricity, collapses...and with losing four brothers and a sister firefighter in Houston the other day that's always on our minds," said Koby Johns with the Fresno Fire Department.

No people were hurt, but the homeowner's friend's dog was outside at the time and died in the fire.
 
"His dog was chained up to a tool box and I tried to get over to it, but the fire was too hot, there was no way I could get over there," said the homeowner.

Crews had the fires under control in an hour and with triple digit heat on the way, the fire fighters have to be rotated to stay cool.

"Their core temperature rises and if it gets up to 105 degrees or greater, that's a death," said Cedric Reese, Volunteer for the Community Emergency Response Team, also known as CERT.

The CERT group is made up of local volunteers in the Fresno area.  They come out to help firefighters beat the heat, but displaced homeowners have to start from scratch.

"Now what do I do? I have to start over again and you know where do I go?" said the homeowner.

American Red Cross was on site Tuesday evening to help the four people without homes find a place to sleep for the next few days.
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Fresno, CA

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