Grass Fire Ruins 50 Systems at Pacheco, CA, Self-Storage Facility

A fire that ignited Tuesday afternoon in a grassy area behind a Pacheco, Calif., self-storage facility burned about 50 systems and sent rippling smoke across neighboring highways. The blaze near the junction of Interstate 680 and State Highway 4 started at about 2:45 p.m. and rapidly infected the large storage systems, some including automobiles, at the back of the 500-unit Pacheco Mini Storage at 5146 Pacheco Blvd., according to sources.

It took fire crews two hours to contain the two-alarm brush fire, which produced smoke that showed up for miles and flames that were as high as close-by palm trees. “It was quite scary when we first saw it,” stated Kelly Van Shaik, who manages the center.

Firefighters struggled to put out the fire as wind and heat sustained it. In addition to ruining grassy spots and the storage systems, it tore down power lines. Nobody was hurt.

Access to the back of the storage center is now limited up until deemed safe, stated Van Shaik, who’s getting in touch with the occupants whose units were harmed. “We’ve had some consumers employing seeing if their stuff is affected. We had one woman been available in and hers is totally gone. She is ravaged,” she said.

The reason for the fire is under investigation. “We don’t know– I imply, a cigarette butt, a spark from a cars and truck, the building that’s on the highway. It might have been anything,” said Van Shaik, who was informed it might use up to 2 weeks before a cause is understood.

Investigators have talked to people residing in a close-by homeless encampment, who have actually caused issues for the storage operator. “Trash, garbage, their stuff, burglarizing the property, cutting the fence … I mean all of the above,” Van Shaik stated.

Ninety percent of these types of fires are brought on by “human activity” such as a tossed cigarette or a vehicle malfunction, which can quickly fire up dry plant life, according to Steve Hill, a public info officer for the Contra Costa Fire Protection District. “These are really high fire-danger times, and it’s going to be worse in between now and October. We need people to be accountable,” he stated.

Insurance will cover some of the damage at the storage facility, telling her clients their possessions have been destroyed is challenging, Van Shaik stated. “Their lives are in there. Their kid’s stuff, their stuff. It’s simply hard. The telephone call are going to be really difficult today.”

In addition to providing conventional and automobile self-storage, Pacheco Mini is an authorized U-Haul truck-rental dealership.

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