Massive fire destroys Light-House Recovery Program building in Fresno, leaves 12 people displaced

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A historic home in downtown Fresno has been lost after catching fire on Sunday afternoon.

The home near Van Ness Avenue and San Joaquin Street had been serving as housing for women in the Light-House Recovery Program.

There were 12 people in the house when the fire started. All were evacuated safely, but now, they need a place to live.

“As we got closer I could see the smoke, that’s when it became reality,” explained Vikki Luna, director of the Light-House Recovery Program.

Luna has been housing women and helping them recover from addiction in this home in downtown Fresno for nearly a decade.

“This is their home and this is where their lives are being changed,” Luna said.

On Sunday, all of that changed, when the home caught fire while work was being done on the roof.

Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Tim Fulmer says because the building is more than 100 years old, it’s more flammable, and the fire traveled quickly, requiring 40 firefighters and 10 engines.

“Our crews were able to quickly get inside, but were also quickly overrun by the amount of fire going on,” Fulmer said.

Thankfully, the 12 women living inside the home were evacuated safely. Now, Luna is hoping other non-profits will help them find temporary refuge while her organization finds a way to rebuild.

“When something like this happens, the community really pulls together. We might be at odds in different areas of our lives but, when it comes to people needing help, we seem to pull together here in our city,” Luna said.

As far as the cause of the fire, that is under investigation, but there is speculation that it’s related to the work that was being done on the roof.

If you want to donate to the Light-House recovery program, you can visit their website.

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