A fire broke out Tuesday night at an abandoned apartment complex at 1825 Lucerne Ave. in Dos Palos.
“I know that there is a fire, and our department is involved,” said Dos Palos Fire Chief Barry Mann. He said arson is suspected as the cause.
The Dos Palos Fire Department responded as well as Cal Fire, the Los Banos City, Fresno County and Merced City Fire Departments. Capt. Kevin Philgas of the Merced Fire Department sustained minor injuries to his left shoulder when he fell from the building’s second-story balcony, and was transferred to an area hospital.
Approximately 40 fire personnel were present and responded within three to five minutes, said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Lawson.
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“No one should have been residing there; we did have from time to time persons squatting there, and witnesses said two people were seen running from there” at the time the fire broke out, Mann said.
“The first unit did a good job of stopping the fire before the other firefighters arrived; that would be Engine 76 Dos Palos,” said Cal Fire spokesman Mario Rivera. “It looks like we have a $50,000 loss.” He said about $200,000 worth of property was saved.
Six Merced County fire engines responded from Cal Fire, Rivera said.