In just a 24-hour period, there were four Fresno apartment fires, including one that happened at 9:42 pm on Saturday, May 20 at the intersection of Marks and Dakota Avenues.

Fire crews were on the scene when they were dispatched to 2640 W. Robinson Ave, and when crews arrived three different apartment buildings were involved in the fire. People were apparently trapped inside some of these buildings according to Fresno Fire Battalion Chief Brian Price. However, once inside they found no one. Three apartment buildings were badly damaged and 30 people were displaced – 17 adults and 13 children. The Red Cross was working with these individuals to find new housing.

Five firefighters struggle to put out structure fire

The fires are still under investigation, but there was talk of it starting on the exterior. 

Earlier that day, Fresno firefighters were battling a commercial fire on the 1200 block of North Avenue between Highway 41 and Highway 99. On Friday night, there was a residential fire at the 2900 block of East Gettysburg Avenue, and another at East California and South East avenues.

These fires happened in a highly residential neighborhood near Ricewood Avenue, North Atlas Way, West Dakota Avenue and Marks Avenue. In the last month, Fresno has faced various apartment fires, including one on April 30 that displaced 19 people.

“Fresno apartment fires can be deadly,” said Fresno apartment fire attorney Jerry Singleton of Singleton Schreiber. “And even when people thankfully survive, they are left homeless. Our entire firm wishes every one of the displaced families the best as they search for their next living arrangement.”

Anyone who has been injured, displaced or suffered property damage in a Fresno apartment fire should contact Singleton Schreiber at 559-702-0846 or via email at

Fresno Apartment Fires at W. Robinson and N. Atlas Way

Residential fires in Fresno are dangerous to the entire neighborhood, not just the complex where the fire occurred. According to the Fresno Bee, the fires were so close together in time, that firefighters were at one and had to leave to go fight a different blaze. This means that the entire neighborhood will be exposed to potential hazardous smoke and fumes. 

Established in 1877, The Fresno Fire Department is one of the oldest fire departments in the United States. Over the years, Fresno has transformed from a largely farming community with a more rural setting to an increasingly dense residential community. As one of the few places left in California where the average person can buy a home or rent a comfortable apartment, the population has grown significantly. The Fresno area has experienced steady growth even during the pandemic. The City of Fresno’s residential population grew by almost 30,000 from 2020 to 2023. 

Those 30,000 people have to live somewhere, and many are renting apartments. The Fresno County population is well over 1 million people, up from 932,000 who lived there in 2010. Again, as populations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and other more expensive regions shrink, Fresno continues to grow.

Apartment fires happened in Fresno for a variety of reasons. From poorly built complexes to poorly built products, these fires can spread quickly. Many people own furniture, appliances and other items that burn quickly, and if an apartment complex does not have the proper fire safety standards, they can turn deadly.

There are specific laws in California governing how many fire extinguishers must be available and where they are to be placed. Moreover, if the building materials were not up to code, if the fire safety exits were not placed properly or if appliances were not up to safety code, there could be a serious fire that spreads quickly. Electrical fires can also happen regularly, caused most often by shoddy installation. 

Ultimately, the people of Fresno need to be careful, do proper inspections and take time to see if their apartment complex is following fire codes. Otherwise, they could be left homeless or worse. The 30 people in these fires who are now homeless have to find a home in a market that is increasingly expensive, and if they do not have renters insurance they must also purchase furniture, clothes and more completely out of pocket.

“Fresno apartment fires have a ripple effect,” said attorney Jerry Singleton. “These individuals now have to find new homes to live in. That could impact where they work, where their kids go to school, and it could strip them of any savings they have. We urge these residents to find legal counsel to help sort through whether or not they have a civil claim and are eligible for compensation.”

To contact Singleton Schreiber’s Fresno apartment fire lawyers, call 559-702-0846 or via email at