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Fire damages house and apartment in Brawley

July 07, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA,Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Paint cans, paint thinner and other chemicals may have helped fuel a fire that damaged a vacant house and an apartment here Friday night, a fire official said.

The Brawley Fire Department responded to a blaze in a vacant two-story house in the 300 block of J Street about 8:30 p.m., said fire Capt. Jesse Zendejas.

Investigators were not sure of the cause of the fire, but they think it started in the exterior of one of the side walls of the house.

Next to the house was a wooden fence that had several household chemicals stored alongside it.

Zendejas said witnesses told investigators the fire burned the fence and caused some of the aerosol cans to explode.

An apartment next to the house received some damage to an exterior wall.

The owner of the two-story house, Jackie Lunsford, lives at a different residence, Zendejas said.

Juliet and Ignacio Fernandez and their two children live next door in the damaged apartment.


Juliet Fernandez and the couple's children were home when the fire reached the apartment.

Fernandez told investigators she heard loud bangs, which at first she thought were her kids banging on the walls but Zendejas said, the sound she heard could have been the paint cans exploding.

No one was injured in the fire.

The house received about $20,000 worth of damage and an estimated $5,000 to $7,000 in damages was caused to the apartment.

The fire was extinguished after about 15 minutes.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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