[UPDATE: ‘Suspicious’ Fire] Two-Story Vacant Building Catches Fire Early Friday Morning

imageBefore 12:30 a.m., a two-story building on H Street in Eureka between 8th and 9th Streets caught fire. Humboldt Bay Fire and Arcata Fire responded.

According to neighbors, the building is vacant and belongs to Floyd Squires. There are boards on some of the windows, according to our reporter/photographer on the scene, Oliver Cory. As of 1:19 a.m., most of the fire is out but there are still some flames. PG&E is shutting off power.


UPDATE 1:32 a.m.:H Street is closed between 8th and 9th Streets.

UPDATE 1:37 a.m.: An ambulance is standing by in case it is needed.

UPDATE 1:48 a.m.: Neighbors say that homeless people used to squat in the building.

UPDATE 2:08 a.m.: More photos.

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UPDATE 2:15 a.m.: According to Battalion Chief Billy Reynolds, “We actually had two propane cylinders explode…. It appears to be a vacant residence.” He said that there is not yet an estimate on the damage “It’s pretty extensive [damage].” Firefighters are still investigating the cause.

UPDATE 7:33 a.m.: Press release from Humboldt Bay Fire:

At approximately 0022 hours, Humboldt Bay Fire (HBF) was dispatched to a reported structure fire on the 800 block of H St. Two fire engines, one ladder truck, one squad, and two duty officers responded on the first alarm assignment.

The first arriving Battalion Chief reported heavy gray smoke pushing from a single story attached garage in the alley behind 811 H St. The ladder truck crew was assigned to begin working to gain entry to the garage as the first arriving fire engine began setting up for fire attack. While gaining entry to the garage via the roll up doors, fire began showing from the interior and two propane cylinders exploded within the structure. Fire crews momentarily retreated before re-engaging in suppression efforts. With the garage now heavily involved in fire, the fire began extending to the attached vacant residential structure. At that time, a second alarm was called bringing another fire engine from HBF, and an additional engine and Chief Officer from Arcata Fire District to the scene.

Due to the building construction and age, as well as the fire extending to the attic of the structure, fire crews worked approximately 90 minutes to get full control of the fire. With the building being vacant, plywood over the doors and windows slowed access to the interior of the structure, but crews were able to do a thorough search and determine that there was no one inside.

Crews remained on scene for several hours overhauling the fire to ensure it was completely out. Preliminary damage estimates show approximately $75,000 in damage to the structure. There were no injuries to civilians or fire personnel.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but is suspicious in nature.

Update 10 p.m.: One more photo.




  • Great photos.

  • It’s really a shame these beautiful old redwood victorians get destroyed. They get replaced with ugly modern cookie cutter pieces of s%#&. And Eureka gets even less appealing. I always enjoyed looking at it when driving past. Even boarded up it had a lot beauty and class. Just sad that Eureka looses another piece of it’s soul. Oooooew! Maybe they’ll put up a new Star Buck’s or a new cell phone store oooooo or a new grower’s supply. That would be really cool. Modernity Sucks! The next generation will only pictures in a book. Wait, they won’t even have a book! They will have them on the internet.

    • sharpen your pencil

      The problem is Squires. This guy redefines slum lord! Nearly every single building this guy’s owns is hazardous waste. He is a parasite on this community!

  • Oh yeah, great pics.

  • Hick, I hate this destruction too. I would love to be rich enough to buy places like this and restore them.

  • Poor Old House but go figure another Squires Building burnt how many does that make now? His place in 5th across from Denny’s burnt his place on Broadway Burnt damn near costing me my wife son & mother his place on Summer The Pink 2 story went up

  • Can’t fix them,Burn them.he can’t juggle all his places,and money too..come on Floyd do the right thing.Slumlords not welcomed

  • I think Habitat for Humanity should rehab them and rent them for a decent price. Squires is obviously not putting any of the ridiculously high rents he charges back into his buildings….

  • The Squires shuld b forced to live in one of their scummy properties for at least a year. Must b nice to still be in the good ole boys club, laughing at making money off horrible dwellings while sipping cocktails at the Ingomar club. Its 10-20,000$ dues per year there, if not more by now. Nice private club that helps protect the rich racist jerks who own a lot of properties.

  • My husband worked for him 20 years ago,he hasn’t changed.he gave us bad checks,or wouldn’t pay us for weeks.we quit when he wanted some cover up shit done,no how no way nothing worth that.He is truly a slumlord!!!WHAT a shame some of those property’s could be fixed up

  • The exterior should remain the same design,restored,interior only to be changed, same # of bedrooms, units the same square footage. The problem there would be private property rights vs Design Review.

  • Not the Squires, I believe

    I used to live in that apartment that got torched. It wasn’t the Squires that were my landlords, though their white square-ish apartment building right across the alleyway made for some “entertaining” late night antics.
    811 H st. was owned by Judge Morrison. Unless he is dead, I doubt that it has gotten into Squire hands. He really loved that building, and I think it was empty because he just couldn’t keep it up as he got more elderly.
    That place had a ghost: a gal who had hung herself after a falling out with her father over who she wanted to marry. Or so the legend went.

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