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3-Alarm Fire Prompts Mandatory Evacuations in Sonoma: Sheriff

Up to 500 people were forced to evacuate their homes and businesses Tuesday afternoon in Sonoma after a pallet factory went up in flames.

The three-alarm fire at the Schellville Pallet factory in Sonoma broke out around 12:30 p.m. and prompted mandatory evacuations for a half-mile radius around 1180 Fremont Drive. Officials lifted the evacuation order just before 3 p.m.

Video of the blaze captured an explosion, with a propane tank shooting out of flames and bouncing on top of an RV.

"I could feel the heat on my arms (and) on my face," said Mathew Nagan, who owns a nearby restaurant.

Crews from Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties responded to the blaze. The Shellville Fire chief said just 10 percent of the pallet factory was damaged by the flames.

Firefighters battle a three-alarm fire at a pallet factory in Sonoma. The blaze prompted mandatory evacuations (June 5, 2018)

Nagan, who owns a nearby Shellville grill off Highway 121, watched the fire unfold from his restaurant. He was one of hundreds who live and work within a half-mile radius of the pallet factory and were ordered to evacuate.

No injuries were reported. Fire officials said about six RVs in a neighboring storage facility were destroyed by the flames.

Fire crews are expected to be on scene through the night to fully extinguish the blaze.

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