No injuries in 2-alarm fire on Richmond’s 23rd Street

No injuries in 2-alarm fire on Richmond's 23rd Street
Photos by Mike Kinney

By Mike Kinney

No injuries occurred as the result of a 2-alarm fire at a long-vacant commercial building at 23rd Street and Grant Avenue this morning, fire officials said.

The fire was reported just before 9 a.m. at 637 23rd St., a property that had been boarded up for about 10 years and was formerly a printing shop, Richmond Fire Battalion Chief Noah Browlow said.

“It took about an hour and half to contain the fire,” Brownlow said. “No firefighters entered the structure because it was too dangerous.”

The fire’s cause wasn’t immediately known.

Richmond Fire Truck No. 64 arrived quickly and set up the aerial ladder to supply water support from above the burning structure. During the incident, the Richmond Police Department closed down traffic along 23rd Street from Barrett Ave. to Gaynor Ave.

In all, 30 firefighters, eight engine trucks and two fire trucks — representing members of the Richmond Fire Department, El Cerrito Fire Department and from the Contra Costa County Fire District’s new Fire Station No. 70 in San Pablo — responded to the scene.

“All three Fire Departments did an excellent job in containing the fire,” Interim Richmond Fire Chief Michael Smith said. “Everyone worked safely and there were no injuries.”

At one point, firefighters climbed to the structure’s roof to look for hot spots to extinguish so that its brick walls would not collapse down to street. The building was constructed in 1954, according to County records