MODESTO (CBS13) — More than sixty personnel responded to a massive fire at a century-old lumber company in Modesto early Friday morning.
Thankfully, nobody was injured. But it’s a loss to the downtown area in more ways than one.READ MORE: Mayor Steinberg Releases Master Plan To House Homeless
“It’s just sad to see this happening,” said one woman who works downtown.
Downtown business owners like Breanna Cartwright with Fresh Ideas Flower Company stood in awe.
“The whole place was just engulfed in flames,” said Cartwright.
The four-alarm blaze tore through the iconic American Lumber Company. The lumberyard has stood for almost a century.
“It was shocking to come to see,” Cartwright said. “It’s completely leveled across the street. Definitely not the view I expected to have this morning.”
A little after midnight, crews responded to a small fire behind the business. It quickly spread – fueled by wood and other flammable materials.READ MORE: Keep Tahoe Blue: Team Of Divers Collect 8,000 Pounds Of Trash In 25 Days
“At one time, we had 12 engines, 5 ladder trucks, 7 chief officers on scene,” said Modesto Fire battalion chief Darin Jesburg.
All that manpower required extra water power.
“We called for the city folks to fire up some pumps in the area to boost some pressure to maintain the pressure for us,” said division chief Tim Tiejen.
Crews were on scene for hours putting out hot spots. Two buildings – including the office – were left standing, but several warehouses burned. Authorities estimate losses at $2 million – and dozens are out of work.
“I can’t ever imagine 9th Street not having this building,” said Cartwright.
The community hopes the lumberyard can rise like a phoenix from the ashes and rebuild.
The lumber yard’s owners said they have insurance.MORE NEWS: Tree Trimmers In Short Supply As People Prepare For Fires
Authorities say the fire is suspicious and they’re investigating exactly how it got started.