Fire guts vacant building


For The Madera Tribune

Madera fire crews responded to an early morning fire Monday about 4:30 am at a vacant warehouse building on south E Street, near 9th Street adjacent to the railroad tracks. The building was reportedly full of debris and other contents stored by the many homeless in the area who may have been sheltering inside the building at the time of the fire, according to fire officials. No injuries were reported.

An early morning fire in a vacant warehouse building along south E Street near 10th Street quickly gutted the interior and contents of the structure, according to Calfire authorities.


Battalion chief James Forga said the fire was first reported about 4:30 a.m. Monday when smoke and flames were first seen coming from the building.


“The fire and damage was mainly limited to the miscellaneous contents ... and the debris inside the building, which appear to have been collected and stored by the homeless nearby. No other structures were threatened and no injuries were reported,” Forga said.


The dollar amount of damage to the building was unknown at this time, he said, and the support structures inside the metal building may have also sustained some damage from the fire.


Nearby residents and business owners say the area along the railroad tracks near E Street has long been plagued by the homeless, and the many fires resulting from their encampments.


Three fire engines and a fire truck responded to extinguish the fire and remained for several hours to turn the piles of smoldering debris and check for victims or hot spots.


The winter heating season often brings numerous fires in vacant buildings due to the activities of the homeless, according to fire officials.

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