In Fresno, first responders step in to help a homeowner after discovering her house has become a popular target for squatters. the home is located near Mariposa Street and McKenzie Avenue. Recently someone crashed a truck into her garage leaving the home once again open to squatters. That’s when firefighters and police took it upon themselves to help out.
The firefighters at station four volunteered to rebuild part of the garage and police organized a donation of supplies. This, after finding out the homeowner didn’t have the money, or home owner’s insurance because of issues with squatters.
Over the weekend firefighters boarded up and rebuilt a Central Fresno garage after a truck crashed into it. Fresno police officer Damon Edrozo says the driver ran from the scene, but so did another group of people.
“The garage was also used by some squatters,” said Edrozo.
Officer Dillon Biggs spoke with the homeowner Epifina Garcia.
“She seemed a little concerned with people going in and taking her property and still squatting inside the garage,” said Biggs.
After finding out Garcia lacked insurance and the means to secure her property. Officer Edrozo had an idea.
“So I decided to go ahead and take the chance to randomly call Home Depot and the manager there to see if he was able to help out,” said Edrozo.
He spoke with Home Depot manager Brent Moberg. Firefighters arrived looking for supplies.
“They already had an idea of what they were looking for. I just kind of directed them to where the material was. I was actually busy when they first came in. So I just said guys grab carts and load up what you need,” said Moberg.
Firefighters loaded up more than $200 worth of plywood and lumber donated by Home Depot on Kings Canyon in Fresno and began working to restore and secure the Central Fresno garage. It’s important work to prevent hazards and future crime.
“Definitely I believe if it was left open it would’ve invited some others to stay there for shelter,” said Edrozo.
Investigators are still looking for the driver of the truck that crashed into the garage and firefighters believe squatters may be trying to get back into the garage. If you have any information call Crime Stoppers at 498-STOP.