A fire in a vacant home in Fresno almost killed a homeless man but firefighters arrived in time to cut a hole in the side of the building and pull him to safety.
The dramatic rescue was captured on a video camera attached to a firefighter’s helmet.
Fire Chief Kerri Donis praised the heroism of those who saved the homeless man but said the rescue simply underscores the larger problem of too many vacant buildings in Fresno catching fire. That just adds to the workload of one of the busiest fire departments in the nation, she said.
On Oct. 4, a fire crew went to a call at 2421 E. Grant Ave., near Belmont Avenue and Fresno Street. Police told firefighters a man was trapped in the subfloor of the vacant home. The fire blocked his escape, but he found a deep crawl space under the floor to escape smoke and intense heat, Donis said. Someone saw “a hand sticking out.”