Fire scorches vacant building in Richmond; no injuries


No one was injured when a fire destroyed a boarded-up and vacant building in Richmond early Tuesday, a fire official said.

A reader sent us the photo above of the raging fire from a distance.

The fire was reported at 3:46 a.m. in the 1700 block of Esmond Avenue, Richmond Fire Capt. Rico Rincon said. Five engines and 20 fire personnel responded with assistance from Contra Costa and El Cerrito units.

Fire crews had to force entry into the boarded up building, but once they got in they realized the fire had been burning at such a pace that the roof had begun to collapse.

So firefighters were pulled from the building and began a defensive attack, Rincon said.

After the fire was under control, it was determined that it began at the exterior of the building and spread mainly to the attic.

What caused the fire, however, remains under investigation, Rincon said.