[UPDATE 9:15 a.m.] Red Cross Called to Help Families Displaced at Large Apartment Building Fire on Harris and California
A bus has been requested to take approximately 20 people to a shelter after fire crews were dispatched to a blaze in an apartment at 2969 California Street about 5:55 a.m. This is a two story, wood-frame apartment complex. A downstairs apartment appears to have been the origin of the fire but the first crews on site reported that the fire had extended into the upper story. Red Cross has been called to assist families affected by the fire.
There is traffic control on Harris and California so please avoid the area if possible. PG&E has been notified. The building is owned by Floyd Squires.
UPDATE 7:36 a.m.: Oliver Cory, our northern reporter, provided these photos from the scene.
UPDATE 7:49 a.m.: Red Cross is at the scene working with displaced families.
UPDATE 8 a.m.: One lane of traffic is now open on Harris.
UPDATE 8:23 a.m.: According to Battalion Chief Kent Hulbert, “At 5:53 this morning, we got notified there was a fire.” Hulbert said that about 20 to 30 people have been displaced by this fire.
Fighting the fire was difficult because there was another small structure fire in Arcata at the same time so fire resources were already tied up.
Most of the damage from the Eureka Fire, Hulbert said, was located in two apartments but there was smoke damage throughout the building. Thankfully, there were no injuries to civilians or the fire department crews.
UPDATE 9 a.m.: Our reporter, Oliver Cory, spoke to Floyd Squires the owner of the building. Squires, who owns numerous properties in the area has had legal action taken against him by the City of Eureka for “ongoing and pervasive” code violations in the past, said that he has owned the building since 1980 with “not a lot of problems.”
“We had a fire inspection a month ago and passed with flying colors,” Squires said. However, he said that the tenant of the apartment where the fire appears to have started “got an eviction notice the first of the month.”
UPDATE 9:15 a.m.: Both lanes of Harris now opened.
UPDATE 9:46 a.m.: More photos from Oliver Cory.