Four fires at a Mexican taco stand in less than a month

Crime

FRESNO, California (KGPE) – A taco shop went up in flames Tuesday morning, near Cedar and Ventura Avenues.

Fresno Firefighters say this is the fourth time the restaurant Lola’s Ricos Tacos caught fire in less than a month.

KSEE24 spoke with the business owner’s son, Alfredo Gonzalez and he says this business has been there for more than 20 years.

Gonzalez says his parents are devastated and heartbroken that their years of hard work went up in flames.

Heavy smoke billowed from the roof of Lola’s Ricos tacos. 

“It’s really sad to see that my parents’ hard work for so many years has literally gone up in flames,” Gonzalez expressed. 

He says this taco stand was the first business his parents opened up more than 20 years ago. They have three other locations in Fresno and one in Selma.

“They immigrated from Mexico, worked in the fields for about 20 something years and then got this location and started building it from there,” Gonzalez explained. 

The aftermath shows the taco stand fenced in with a charred exterior. But this is not the first time the business caught fire.

Gonzalez says the first time was just a few weeks ago.

“About three Thursdays ago around 11 p.m., they called my parents and said that somebody had started an electrical fire, possibly a homeless person,” says Gonzalez. 

He says five hours later, the building was on fire again. The following Saturday, Gonzalez says it was on fire for the third time.

He says the business has since been boarded up. Tuesday morning’s fire was the fourth in less than a month.

Fire investigators are looking into arson.

“The cause is under investigation but there are indicators that it’s related to homeless activity in that area,” says Hector Vasquez, a fire investigator with the Fresno Fire Department. 

We spoke with other business owners who did not want to go on camera but say there has been an increase in homeless activity.

“The community is a great community, even though there are some problems but I don’t understand why they would do this to my parents,” Gonzalez expresses. 

Business owners of Lola’s say they want to rebuild. They had about six employees working here and now have them currently working a few hours at their other locations. Investigators say if anyone has information to call the Fresno Fire Department.

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