Fire Ravages Downtown Building, Again

By Michelle Wayland
|  Sunday, Jul 11, 2010  |  Updated 10:13 AM PDT
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Part of the building collapsed.

Part of the building collapsed.

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Flames tore through the old Jerome’s building downtown Sunday morning, causing part of the building to collapse. It’s not the first time this building has burned.

When crews arrived at 16th and E Street around 2.40 a.m. they found the roof engulfed in flames.

“The building itself is the remaining part of the old Jerome’s building that burned some, what, year and a half, two years ago or so,” San Diego Fire and Rescue Dept. spokesperson Maurice Luque said.

A large part of the structure that burned in December of 2007 was still remaining.

“The roof of that structure, at least a good one third of that roof was on fire when crews got here. So they had to immediately go defensive,” Luque said.

About 60 firefighters worked to save the rest of the structure and other surrounding structures.

“At one point they were probably putting about 3,500 gallons of water a minute onto the roof and into that building to get that fire knocked down,” Luque said.

One third of the building was destroyed.

“The wall has caved in on the 16th side and the roof is kind of caving in, in parts,” Luque said.

Firefighters stopped the fire from spreading to the other two thirds of the building

The building appeared to be unoccupied.

“A lot, a lot of cubicles, office space and some other storage area,” Luque said. “But because of the visibility, the conditions and the safety issues, they can’t really make a determination what’s burning inside that one third of the building that caught fire.”

No one was hurt in the fire. The cause is under investigation.

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