Large-scale fire destroys Light-House Recovery Program building in Fresno, leaving 12 people displaced
FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A historic downtown Fresno home was lost after it caught fire on Sunday afternoon.
The house near Van Ness Avenue and San Joaquin Street was used as housing by the women in the Light-House Recovery program.
There were 12 people in the house when the fire broke out. All were safely evacuated, but now they need a place to live.
“As we got closer, I could see the smoke, that’s when it came true,” said Vikki Luna, director of the Light-House Recovery Program.
Luna has been sheltering women and helping them recover from their addiction at this downtown Fresno home for nearly a decade.
“This is their home and this is where their life is changed,” Luna said.
Everything changed on Sunday when the house caught fire while work was being done on the roof.
Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Tim Fulmer says because the building is over 100 years old, it is more flammable and the fire spread quickly, requiring 40 firefighters and 10 engines.
“Our teams were able to get inside quickly, but were also quickly overwhelmed by the amount of fires going on,” Fulmer said.
Fortunately, the 12 women living inside the house were safely evacuated. Now Luna hopes other nonprofits will help them find temporary refuge while her organization finds a way to rebuild itself.
“When something like this happens, the community really comes together. We can disagree in different areas of our life, but when it comes to people in need of help, we seem to come together here in our city, ”said Luna.
As to the cause of the fire, it is under investigation, but there is speculation that it relates to the work that was carried out on the roof.
If you would like to donate to the Light-House recovery program, you can visit their website.