Fire crews were called to a business in Fremont Wednesday afternoon on report of a fire at 1:45 p.m.
Fire officials almost immediately called a third alarm which brought dozens of firefighters to the scene near Warm Springs and Brown Road. The actual address of the building is 801 Boggs Terrace.
The building houses C and H Enterprise, which is a machine shop business. That business is a total loss.
Everyone who was inside the structure when the fire started was able to get out safely, according to fire fighters.
The oils instead the structure made the smoke toxic, so people in the area were told to shelter in place. The business, which performs precision machining, welding and fabricating, has a placard posted to inform people there are combustible and flammable materials inside.
Heavy black smoke lifted into the air and could be seen for miles in the South Bay.
Fire crews were hoisted on to ladders of their trucks to spray water on the fire from three sides of the building. They call that the "surround and drowned" method of fighting a fire.
The black smoke turned to white smoke by 2:30 p.m. which is normally a sign that they are getting the fire under control. Fire crews said they would remain on the fire Thursday night checking on hot spots.
Our NBC Bay Area helicopter above the scene showed the roof had collapsed in the fire, but it did not appear to have spread to other buildings.
Crews did not immediately reenter the structure because the back wall was ready to collapse from the extensive damage, fire Capt. Steve Silva told Bay City News.
There was no word on what might have sparked the fire. Fire officials are investigating.