Bakersfield Fire Department battles nine structure fires in three days

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Bakersfield Fire Department has battled nine structure fires since Tuesday, showing a disturbing trend in a matter of three days. Several units responded to an incident at a vacant building on the 200 block of Bernard Street Thursday afternoon just after 1 p.m.

“They were on scene very quickly,” said Michael Walkley, Battalion Chief and Public Information Officer for the Bakersfield Fire Department. “Once we completed and knocked down the fire, we went in to start the search. There were no occupants, and we did not have any injuries.”

Another structure fire is under investigation as firefighters put out a blaze on the 800 block of Baker Street Thursday night at about 10:30. Another fire at the same address threw smoke into the air that afternoon. Authorities say this trend is all too common in the winter.

“Sometimes the transient population or homeless, they’ll frequent these buildings for shelter when it gets cold out,” said Walkley. “They’ll frequent these buildings to cook, and then next thing we know we have a large fire incident.”

That’s why first responders think an empty residence caught fire on the 400 block of Lake Street that same night. Wednesday morning brought similar perils as a fire ripped through an apartment complex on Jewett Avenue at 5 a.m. Bucko’s Jolly Kone in Northeast Bakersfield followed an hour later.

“You know, we’ve had a few,” said Walkley. “One two days ago at an apartment complex. Obviously the occupant at home was notified by a member in the neighborhood got her out. Right after that fire, on 34th street we had a commercial building that was boarded up. That one took off.”

This comes as a trio of fires ravaged the city just hours apart. The first destroyed a mobile home in Southeast Bakersfield at 6:15 Tuesday night. Just two hours later, flames engulfed the bedroom of a home on South Milham Drive. The last one burst out in the garage of a home on Hosking Avenue near Highway 99. Authorities say these fires are under investigation, and have not reported any injuries.

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