House Fire reported in Los Banos

December 19, 2012 

By Corey Pride - cpride@losbanosenterprise.com

A fight between homeless people resulted in a two-alarm fire at a vacant home Wednesday, according to Los Banos Fire Chief Chet Guintini. Guintini said at 8 a.m. his department was called to an abandoned residence on the 800 block of E Street. As firefighters arrived flames were shooting out of the windows of the 1,800 square foot structure, causing a second alarm to be called. No one was injured in the fire.

The blaze destroyed the home's roof. Guintini said the fire started following a disagreement. "We found out there were some homeless inside the structure who had a dispute," he said. Firefighters are investigating whether the blaze was an accident or arson. The Los Banos Fire Department had four engines, two command vehicles and an air unit respond to the scene. A Merced County Engine also assisted in battling the fire. Thus far, no arrests have been made. The fire was not the first at the home, Guintini said. He said in 2011 a shed in back of the building burned down and homeless people are believed to have caused that blaze as well.

Reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

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