Homeless suspected in Los Banos fire

cpride@losbanosenterprise.comJuly 30, 2013 

Homeless people are believed to have caused a fire early Monday in a shed they apparently were using for shelter, according to fire officials.

Fire Capt. Mason Hurley said his department responded to the 700 block of I Street after receiving a report of a shed being on fire at 12:22 a.m.

"It was heavily involved when we got there, but there were no occupants inside," Hurley said.

He said firefighters contained the blaze by 1:30 a.m. but remained on the scene until 2:48 a.m. to make sure no hot spots were left smoldering. The chief said the structure is still standing.

Hurley said he believes the fire was started by homeless people using the shed for shelter, but the cause remains under investigation.

"There's no sign of arson," he said. "There were occupants, so it could have been cigarettes or candles. We don't know."

Hurley did not have a monetary estimate for the amount of damage the shed sustained.

Twelve firefighters, four engines and a ladder truck responded to the blaze.

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