FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – All residents at an apartment complex near the Tower District are now without a home.
A fire broke out over the weekend injuring two people as all four floors of the historical building were engulfed in flames.
“So, our volunteers went out late Saturday night, early Sunday morning to provide immediate assistance to the dozens and dozens of people displaced by this major apartment fire,” says American Red Cross spokeswoman Taylor Poisall.
Red Cross volunteers are now working with displaced residents to provide financial relief and a place to stay. About a third of the residents received assistance but volunteers expect more calls in the coming days.
A temporary shelter was set up at the Ted C. Wills Community Center overnight.
“About five people stayed the night there. Others had a place to stay with family, relatives or friends,” says Poisall.
According to the Local Register of Historic Resources, the brick building was built in 1929 and this wasn’t the first time it caught fire.
“There was a fire here back in the 80s in the mid-80s, where the actual roof burnt off and it was a pretty significant injury count in that fire as well,” says Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Brian Pierce.
Fire officials say residents won’t be allowed to go back anytime soon.
“This building is not going to be occupiable the entire structure will be unoccupied well due to the power and the gas being turned off,” says Pierce.
Two people were injured from the flames but are recovering — among those rescued were several animals and a pet reptile.
“So, one of the occupants had several cats and also a bearded dragon, that was thankfully not injured,” says Pierce.
Those who still need assistance can call the Red Cross dispatch number at (855) 891-7325.