A three-alarm fire raged Sunday in downtown Fresno, leaving a women’s rehabilitation facility totally destroyed. The fire was reported at 1:06 p.m. at the Light-House Recovery Program near San Joaquin and L streets, Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Tim Fulmer said. The two-story house is about one block from Van Ness Avenue and near Arte Americas.
Crews arrived to find the house fully engulfed in flames, Fulmer said. A roofing contractor who was on the roof at the time of the fire made it off without injury. Fulmer said crews were trying to determine if the roofing work was a cause of the fire.
At least 12 people were being housed in the facility and were able to make it out without injuries. Fulmer said crews were initially trying to gain access to the structure but were overrun and had to vacate and fight the flames from the outside. A total of 10 engines and three ladder trucks responded as the fire consumed both floors and the attic.
Vikki Luna of the program said 12 women who lived in the drug and alcohol recovery center lost their homes in the fire. “No part of the house can be saved,” she said. Firefighters told her there were no firewalls in the 100-year-old building. The fire was also traumatic for women who graduated from the program, some of whom were attending church nearby when they blaze erupted. “The Lord has done good work in these walls,” said Luna. “We will be in need of a replacement.” She said the Light-House has a Tower District thrift store, and she hoped the women could find replacement clothes there.