Massive Fire Burns Mare Island Warehouse

Tbe structure was scheduled to be torn down.

Sunday, Feb 5, 2012  |  Updated 8:17 PM PDT
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An empty warehouse burns to the ground in Vallejo Sunday.

An empty warehouse burns to the ground in Vallejo Sunday.

A four-alarm fire on Mare Island in Vallejo today sent a towering  plume of smoke into the air and destroyed a large abandoned warehouse, fire  officials said.

The fire in Building 655, a 150,000 square foot, four-story  warehouse at Railroad and K streets on the north end of the island, was first  reported shortly after 9:30 a.m. today, according to Vallejo Fire Chief Paige  Meyer.    

Smoke was visible to firefighters before they even reached the  scene, and upon arrival they found the building was already 20 to 25 percent  involved in flames, Meyer said.    

The warehouse, owned by the City of Vallejo, is vacant and slated  for demolition, but Meyer said there was a "possibility of homeless and  squatters" inside. 

Once firefighters determined the building was empty, however, they  stepped back to a defensive position and focused on preventing the massive,  fast-moving fire from spreading to neighboring buildings or vegetation.

Meyer described a hectic scene, with heavy smoke, strong winds and  embers.

"We had four by eight sheets of plywood flying through the air, so  you can imagine the spectacular nature of the fire," Meyer said.

Firefighters ordered bystanders who had gathered to watch the  blaze to stand well back, and issued a shelter-in-place order for residents  in neighboring Vallejo as a precaution. Fortunately, the smoke plume was  rising straight up and to the west, where there are few houses, Meyer said.

The more than 60 firefighters on scene brought the fire under  control, but Meyer said it will probably continue to smolder for the next 24  to 48 hours. Fire crews will remain on scene to check for hot spots.

There were no injuries reported.

Bay City News

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