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Refrigerator to Blame for Multi-Million Dollar Fire at Paul Evert's RV

FRESNO, Calif. - It's a multi-million dollar loss for Paul Evert's RV Country in Fresno. On Wendesday, the business was reeling from the devastation of a fire that ripped through one of it's maintenance warehouses. The fire broke out around 6pm on Tuesday. Flames were as high as 40 feet and could be seen very clearly from Highway 99. Investigators believe the fire started from a refrigerator, in one of the RV's inside of the building.

A mixture of about ten RV's and trailers were inside of the warehouse. Paul Evert's RV Country's vice president Charlie Power said the coaches were being serviced inside of the warehouse. There were also very expensive tools and oil drums inside. Cal Fire said all of that just added fuel to the fire.

"We lost several, probably about nine coaches inside of the building. And then, we have about ten more that were damaged," stated Power.

Power said his entire staff was shocked to see the result Wednesday of the fire that broke out the night prior. His priority was safety of employees.

He said, "Make sure nobody's in the building, get them all out, and you know, get the units next to the building away and make sure there's a clear path for the fire truck emergency workers."

Cal Fire Captain Jeremiah Wittwer explains the cause of the fire.

"After investigators came out this morning, determined it was a from a refrigeration unit inside one of the RV units itself that was parked inside the building," said Wittwer.

Wittwer said they're grateful the fire was contained to only that one building. Neighboring business Camping World is normally a competitor, but on a day like today, they're all family.

Camping World general manager Jay Mele said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with, you know, not only the employees, but the ownership group, the management team, and the sales people, the technicians. Anybody that's on staff over there. We know that it could have been us just as easy."

Power said no jobs are affected by the fire, and they remained open on Wednesday with business as usual.

Paul Evert's is trying to make light of the situation. They've posted on their marquee that they're having a "fire sale". Power said they have to clear out some stock to make way for construction for a new building.


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