FRESNO, California. (KGPE) – $300,000 worth of merchandise – that’s how much CEO of Neighborhood Thrift Anthony Armor believes his company lost on Saturday night when their 30,000-square-foot warehouse burned down for reasons still unknown.
“My heart just dropped in my stomach. Thirteen years of my life’s work in some shape or form is accumulated in this one facility,” Armor said.
The Fresno Fire Department – which has 81 firefighters on duty every day – had 63 of those firefighters on the ground and suspended medical calls for more than four hours to control the blaze.
“Some of our neighboring agencies like L.A. City would have probably had an excess of 300 firefighters on that fire. This was the second large fire of the day, too. A lot of those crews had been beat up, hadn’t had lunch yet, had just cleared up that other fire,” Shane Brown with the Fresno Fire Department said.
According to Brown, there were at least 22 other fires in Fresno on Saturday alone. He says onlookers trying to take pictures and videos blocked fire trucks, making their jobs were harder.
“This is a problem that’s becoming more prevalent in our society, and it puts our first responders at an incredible and unnecessary risk,” he said.
Thankfully, no firefighters or citizens were injured as a result of the fire. Armor says he’s already looking at new warehouses and is determined to keep paying the 15 employees who worked in the location on Thorne Avenue – many of whom experience homelessness – while he finds a new spot.
“We’re going to keep them employed. That’s our mission. My goal is to pump as many paychecks into Fresno’s poorest neighborhoods as I can. This is obviously a major tragedy, but I think by surviving, it will only put us in a stronger position in the future,” he said.
You can donate to Neighborhood Thrift here.