RFD battles three fires at long-vacant structures in five days

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RFD battles three fires to long-vacant structures in five days
Still image from video of firefight posted by Richmond Firefighters Local 188.

Richmond firefighters responded to three fires in long-abandoned and vacant structures over five days, according to Richmond Firefighters Local 188, the union representing city firefighters.

The latest incident occurred at about 9 p.m. Sunday in the 400 block of Market Avenue in North Richmond, where a building that has burned multiple times in the past few years was on fire again.

The first arriving crews found flames coming from the first floor and rear of the structure. After deploying the hose, firefighters examined inside the structure and discovered that the ceiling of the first floor was beginning to collapse and fail, officials said.

Crews exited the structure and doused the remaining flames from outside. Luckily, no one was injured.

About 10 p.m. Saturday night, Richmond firefighters battled another fire at a long-abandoned structure in the 800 block of Brookside Drive. The boarded up office building was well involved with fire, with flames coming out of multiple windows.

Fire crews managed to get the majority of the fire under control in a matter of minutes. Again, no injuries were reported. Con Fire crews assisted.

On Friday morning, Richmond supported Con Fire “with yet another fire on the campus of the old Vista High School in San Pablo,” according to Local 188.

The building was well involved when crews arrived. Crews performed a vertical ventilation on the roof. The fire was contained to the building of origin as crews remained on scene for three hours to perform overhaul of the reamining building. No injuries were reported.

“Incidents such as this demonstrate the extreme hazards these longterm vacant abandoned buildings pose to firefighters, especially when they are involved in fire,” fire officials said.