A large fire broke out west of downtown Merced Saturday evening, killing a family pet and displacing four people.
The fire reported at about 4:40 p.m. in the 1100 block of West 19th Street, at the intersection with R Street, Merced Fire Capt. Nathan Frankhauser said.
The fire reportedly started in one unit in an adjoined multi-family building, before spreading to another unit, Frankhauser said, noting that a dog was found in the bedroom of the second unit.
Initial reports indicated that two people may have been inside, Frankhauser said. However, firefighters determined everyone had evacuated.
Two families have been displaced and will be seeking assistance, Frankhauser said.
The cause of the fire, including the area of origin and suspicion of any foul play, was under investigation Saturday night.