VALLEJO -- A four-alarm fire consumed a single-story building Sunday afternoon, sending plumes of black smoke into the air.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, but at just after 4:30 p.m., firefighters responded to the area of Couch Street for reports of a grass fire. However, they found a single-story structure on fire at the end of California Street, between Sonoma Boulevard and Couch Street.

The fire was quickly upgraded to two alarms but, as flames shot several stories into the air, was upgraded to four alarms. The wind blew the smoke north and east from the boarded-up building and former auto shop at 38 California St.

Firefighters cut through locked gates to gain entrance to the building yard and attacked the fire from several sides. At one point, the crew on the roof was engulfed in the thick, black smoke before they were able to push back the fire.

Several onlookers gathered in the alley next to the facility until they were relocated to a safe distance near the Jolly Ice Cream yard. Two witnesses said there was also a homeless encampment behind the building, near the railroad tracks that separate it from Couch Street.

Firefighters managed to get the fire under control in about an hour. No injuries were reported.

Contact Lanz Christian Bañes at 707-553-6833 or lbanes@timesheraldonline.com.



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