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Neighbors demand action, after vacant home catches fire three times in less than one year


Tuesday afternoon, Fresno Fire knocking down flames in the backyard of an abandoned home on Winery and Harvey Avenues.

The fire seen from the State Route 180.

“This is becoming an issue for us, this particular location,” Fresno Fire Department Battalion Chief Devin McGuire said.

An issue, because there have been fires here before.

A similar scene back in February; in May, firetrucks racing up to the home, engulfed in flames.

“It’s crazy,” neighbor Aracely Armenta said. “In the meantime, I’m going to end up losing everything, if they don’t hurry up and do something.”

Tuesday afternoon, Armenta heard her son’s puppy whining, and she knew something was wrong. She says her family’s been affected time and time again, and they often see squatters.

“This is hurting, it might not be taking a life, and it may not be, but it’s hurting the morale, the neighborhood,” Armenta said.

The Fresno Sheriff’s Office says, they got the previous owner to sign over the property after numerous complaints.

They’ve since evicted people at the residence, and are trying to speed up the process, hoping a new investor will make positive changes.

The property, currently in escrow.

“Once it passes to a new private owner, it’s going to be back in their hands,” Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau said. “Their name’s going to be on the title, and they’re going to be responsible.”

We spoke on the phone with the District 2 supervisor.

Brandau says, the county’s code enforcement resources are limited.

He says the problem of homelessness, is citywide, and can be dangerous.

“Until the state and communities can really get together and create laws that effectively deal with homeless, we’re going to be very vulnerable to a lot more of these type of problems, like fires in abandoned homes,” Brandau said.

Armenta, wants the home gone.

“People need to start caring, somebody needs to care,” Armenta said.

Brandau says anyone who sees a home like this in their neighborhood should call his office, and they will have someone come check it out.

We also spoke with Supervisor Sal Quintero, who says, he is personally following up with public works Wednesday.

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