Three Alarm Fire in Eureka Under Investigation

Firemen silhouetted against the flames of last night’s fire. [Photo by Oliver Cory]

In the final 15 minutes of December 30, crews from Humboldt Bay Fire rushed to the scene of what became a three alarm fire. (See earlier story here.) The fire took about three hours to control. One firefighter received a minor injury that was dealt with on site.

According to a press release by Humboldt Bay Fire, crews “will remain on scene throughout the day extinguishing hot spots and a damage estimate is unknown at this time.” The press release (see below) reports that the fire is under investigation at this time.

The site had been occupied by Eureka Ice and Cold Storage before it was closed about eight years ago. The ice plant itself was demolished in 2015 but other buildings on the property remained. At least one of which was occupied by Arctic Ice Co. for a time and then by Ready Ice, according to Jeff Kohndrow, a former manager.*

Kohndrow said, “[Ready Ice] closed the door two years ago.” He was the last employee on the site, he explained.

“It was my favorite job I ever had,” Kohndrow said. “I used to bring ice all the way to Cloverdale, Clear Lake and Lakeport….Towards the end, there was a lot of transient problems…We had copper wiring stolen out of it.”

Kohndrow thinks that the fire might have started in the old office. “From the looks of [the photos],” he said. “The fire started in the office…”

Here’s a look at the inside of the building as seen several months ago.

Above is a typical room in the area where the fire appears to have started.

The building was described as dilapidated. Eureka Ice which had occupied it for many years had closed around 2008 because the repairs required to bring it up to code were too costly, according to a 2015 article in the Times Standard.  

Corner of the machinery room.Press release from Humboldt Bay Fire:

On 12/30/16 at approximately 2345 hrs, Humboldt Bay Fire responded with 3 engines, 1 ladder truck, 1 Squad and 2 Chief Officers to a reported Commercial Structure Fire @ 12 W. Waterfront Dr. First arriving units reported smoke was visible from the building and access was made through locked gates onto the property and fire was visible to the rear of the building.

Defensive operations were initiated utilizing elevated master streams and large diameter hose lines. A 2nd and 3rd alarm was requested and the Humboldt Bay Harbor District fire boat was also requested to the scene. Off duty Humboldt Bay Fire personnel responded in addition to units from Arcata, Samoa-Peninsula, Blue Lake, Fortuna, Loleta and Cal Fire.

The fire was controlled in approximately 3 hours and one firefighter sustained a minor injury and was treated on scene.

Firefighters with Charred and smoking ruins of a commercial building

Firefighter still spray water onto the smouldering ruins. [Photo provided by Amy Martin]

Humboldt Bay Fire will remain on scene throughout the day extinguishing hot spots and a damage estimate is unknown at this time.

Charred and smoking ruins of a commercial building

The aftermath…[Photo provided by Amy Martin]

The cause of the fire is under investigation and Humboldt Bay Fire will release further information when it becomes available.

*NOTE: An earlier version of the story incorrectly reported that Arctic Ice Co was still operating out of the building.

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