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