Morning fire destroys home

CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Clovis firefighter Bill Baca looks into a house at 207 Wallace St. that was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning. Officials said the fire started around 7:30 a.m. There were no injuries.

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Overcome with emotion and wiping tears from her eyes, Lupe Nunez sat on a neighbor’s porch Wednesday morning filling out Red Cross paperwork while firefighters picked through the rubble of her apartment.

Nunez’ apartment at 207 Wallace Street was destroyed by a fire around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Nunez spent the night at her mother’s house nearby and woke to discover the fire trucks responding to the fire, said Connie Rodriguez, speaking for her sister.

Trying to console her sister, Rodriguez said, “You have your life.”

“She’s lost everything,” Rodriguez said, looking at the burnt shell that was her sister’s apartment just hours before.

“I came out and it was already in flames,” the victim’s sister said, explaining she lives in the same block of Wallace Street as her sister and mother.

Nunez, who lived in the apartment for about five years, did not have insurance, her sister said.

When firefighters arrived, Nunez’ side of a duplex was fully engulfed in flames and fire was coming from the windows and doors. “We were in defensive mode for quite some time trying to get control of the fire,” Clovis Fire Chief Ray Westerman said.

Westerman said the fire began in Nunez’ apartment, which suffered the most damage. The damage in the rear apartment is still being evaluated, Westerman said.

The male tenant in the rear apartment was home when the fire started but was able to escape.

There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is being investigated, Westerman said.