Merced (CA) Firefighters Kept Busy with Commercial Fire, Garage Fire

Andrew Kuhn

Merced Sun-Star (Merced, Calif.)

(MCT)

Aug. 25—A commercial building was destroyed by fire Tuesday night in Merced.

Firefighters responded at about 9:41 p.m. to a two-story medical office building in the 2500 block of Canal Street to find heavy smoke conditions, according to City of Merced Fire Chief Derek Parker.

Parker said crews forced their way into a downstairs unit to find heavy smoke and heavy fire conditions. As a result, firefighters had to move to a defensive attack, and all Merced city resources as well as some Merced County and Atwater city fire resources were requested.

According to Parker, about 25 total fire personnel responded to battle the fire at the roughly 5,000-square foot building.

A nearby home and an office building did not sustain any damage, fire officials said.

Parker said firefighters were involved in an active firefight until about 3 a.m. He described the building as a total loss with an estimate of over $1 million worth of damage.

Firefighters remained on the scene throughout the day to extinguish any hotspots and an excavator was used to knock down unstable sections of the remaining structure.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Wildcat Drive fire in Merced

City of Merced firefighters also responded to the scene of a garage fire in the 1200 block of Wildcat Drive on Wednesday.

Firefighters responded at about 9:44 a.m. and once on scene made access to the garage of a home where they located one vehicle well involved and another vehicle next to it as a possible exposure, according to Parker.

Firefighters were able to control the fire in less than five minutes, according to fire officials. One occupant was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

“There’s no extension of fire through the structure but definitely smoke through the structure,” Parker said.

Three fire engines, one truck and a total of about 14 fire personnel responded to the scene, according to Parker.

Mark Matthews, 25, a neighbor who lives across the street from the home said he was in his garage preparing to workout when he smelled what he descried as smoke and chemicals. Matthews said he heard some type of explosion and came out to see smoke rising up the front of the house from the garage.

Matthews said he wasn’t sure at first if anyone was home and another neighbor ran up to the house and began banging on the front door as they yelled to anyone inside. According to Matthews, a woman eventually exited the home.

“I’m just happy that no one got hurt,” Matthews said.

According to Parker, no injuries were reported from the fire that caused an estimated $30,000 in damage. At this time it does not appear any of the home’s occupants have been displaced by the fire and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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