FRESNO, California.- 14 apartments were affected by the Maplewood Apartment fire, which began in a dumpster. 8 apartments and 8 car completely destroyed. The total loss was $2.5 million.
Fresno Fire officials say the dumpster was very full when it caught on fire. The fire quickly spread to a wooden carport, and then to two apartment buildings.
“A carport that was fully involved,” said Fresno Fire Deputy Chief Rich Cabral. “Multiple cars that were through the roof of one of the apartment buildings.”
The fire spread quickly as everyone evacuated safely.
“I am very thankful,” said Cabral. “We had a fast-moving fire, that was downwind. We didn’t have anyone injured as a result.”
There were a number of difficulties with fighting the fire including a fire hydrant that did not work, and a flock of people who came to watch the inferno.
Around 50 firefighters worked for 2 1/2 hours as they used 180,000 gallons to extinguish the flames.
24 hours later, all that is left behind is burnt wooden planks, the frames of car, and a sea of ash. 5-year tenant Vanessa Ruiz and her 5-year-old daughter lost almost everything because she didn’t have renters insurance.
“My manager,” said Ruiz. “He was like ‘hey get rentals insurance’. I didn’t get it because I was like this won’t happen.”
12 Fresno State students lived in the apartments. Left without a place to live. Fresno State is offering rooms and meal plans to help anyone who reaches out.
“We will do everything we can to start the year in a real positive way after going through such a horrific ordeal for all of them,” Fresno State Vice President of Student Affairs Frank Lamas.