A Night Filled With Dumpster Arsons
A 3-ALARM FIRE STRUCK THE San Joaquin Valley town of Manteca, California, Tuesday morning while a string of dumpsters were being set afire around the city. The fire destroyed a strip-shopping center and it is currently believed that it also began with two dumpsters that were burning inside a fenced enclosure at the rear of the building.
The alarm was dispatched at 4 am Pacific and the first-in units found heavy smoke and some fire showing from the roof in the center of the 11,700 sq. ft. building. A second alarm was immediately struck followed shortly by a third. The initial attack lines went into a sports bar where the fire was concentrated, but examination above the drop ceiling disclosed that the steel joists were beginning to sag. The interior crews were immediately pulled out and operations were confined to the exterior.
The building has a common attic and the firefighters placed trench cuts on each side of the main body of the fire. The action was beneficial and the fire was mostly contained to three occupancies and knocked down a short while later. However the entire roof had failed from the heat in the roof joists and the fire marshal stated that the entire building was lost. Concentration on exposures kept the fire from spreading to nearby businesses.
While all this was going on, at least eight more dumpsters in various parts of the city were set alight and one of the engines that was working the shopping center fire had to be redeployed to respond to the other fires as they came in.
The structure which was built to code at the time in 1984 had no firewalls nor sprinklers. The fire department called in all off-duty firefighters and some reserve members. They remained on the scene for ten hours until the fire marshal returned the property to the owners.
The Manteca Bulletin has the full STORY.
Hat tip: Bill K.
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