An intense fire tore through a Sorrento Mesa business and threatened others overnight, calling out more than a dozen fire units as well as a hazardous materials team.
When the first crews arrived to the business on 7386 Trade Street, they saw heavy smoke and flames shooting through the roof.
Firefighters tried to saw through a garage door to get inside but the fire was too overpowering.
A second alarm was called.
Officials say this entire building is more than 4,900 square feet -- and it will likely be a total loss.
Because the building contains a large amount of carbon, metal, vehicles and other materials that can be potentially hazardous inside, HazMat was called to the scene.
For the safety of the fire crews, they had to attack the flames from the outside using heavy hose lines and ladder trucks -- trying to put out the fire while defending nearby structures.
“The first units when they arrived on scene they saw flames and heavy fire shooting through the roof and out to the garage doors on the building,” said Battalion Chief Rick Ballard with San Diego Fire Rescue.
Soon after though, they began firefighting operations from the exterior of the building due to the safety of personnel.
"We did get inside briefly to do a search and rescue to make sure no one was inside but we were not able to attack the fire from the inside due to the heavy fire load," Ballard said.
It took firefighters about 45 minutes to get the fire under control.
The roof has collapsed in several places and appears to be on the verge of collapsing in other parts according to fire spokesperson Maurice Luque.
Other than a small number of firefighters going in to recover computers from the business office, no one will be going in there without heavy equipment to help shore up the roof, Luque said.
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