[UPDATE 9:12 p.m.] Abandoned School Building in Eureka Catches Fire

[Photos and video by Stormy Taylor]

Fire crews are at the scene of a structure fire on the 600 block of Allard Avenue in Eureka. According to scanner traffic, witnesses reported seeing flames coming from the building. We’ll update this post when we hear more.

Update 9:03 p.m.: Reporter Stormy Taylor tells us Allard Avenue is closed while emergency personnel deal with the situation.

UPDATE 9:12 p.m.: According to scanner traffic, there is an investigation into arson.



  • Wasn’t there another fire there recently?

  • I don’t know if this applies to this particular structure but it seems that the school systems have a lot of such “attractive nuisances” around. If the public school system wants to use a building, fine. Keep it maintained. But if they don’t find a use for it, it needs to be sold off as surplus, rented out or torn down. There are so many idle buildings in Eureka that attract trouble constantly.

  • This is what happens when over 1,000 people live on the streets, while the County has ‘no solution’ and many buildings such as this sit unoccupied. It would behoove the County to put the greed aside and offer a REAL solution to folks in dire need, instead of dishing inhumanity, inaction, and bureaucracy on the regular. A building such as this is all that would be required to house nearly all of the houseless residents in Eureka. What’s taking so long Humboldt?? Offering 30 more temporary beds (only for those able to work and stay sober) at another Betty Chinn center is a nice thought, but only a time consuming, tiny drop in the immense ocean of the actual issue. Get ready for more totally avoidable fires Humboldt County. Another summer is upon us, and still no solution for basic human need in sight.

    • Part of the problem with that is the over complicatedness of the state and federal bureaucracies, the other problem with that is these people tend to turn any shelter they have into a garbage pit or end up burning it down, which is exactly what happened here already.
      Anyone who’s upset over the homeless situation around here should take a walk through some of the camps one day. I think you’d be very surprised to find out how many of these people are not homeless working class families with children, but perfectly Able Body younger adults that don’t want to work and think the man owes them something and tweaked-out drunks.


      • Agreed, THC! Many people don’t understand the red tape and the money (not to mention obtaining and holding liability insurance) of converting these properties. Then there is the staffing, the maintaining of property, cash flow to keep these places up and going … its not, ‘oh look! an empty building, lets make it into a *fill in the blank here*’ activity. If a person really wanted to get one up, more power to them. I hope they have the stamina mentally and physically. Really, I would love to see these empty buildings put to good use or torn down with the property sold off with of course the sale $ not being squandered by the school district!

    • #1 – not having a free house to trash is doubtfully why there was a fire at this location.

      #2 – giving everyone a free place to live wont solve any of the problems we are facing. Most don’t want a home, they want their drugs. They will still wander the streets yelling at invisible people, walking out into traffic, and causing trouble. They will still steal bikes, break into cars for drug money.

      Drugs are the problem, not the lack of a roof. It is sad that they are out in the eliments, but a good portion are choosing it.
      Most would just destroy their free home and end up homeless yet again.

      Try opening YOUR home to them as I have done in the past. You will find out for yourself how “grateful” they can be and how much good it will do.

  • Good luck turning an abandoned school into a homeless shelter. If the city pulls the plug on Betty Chin’s portable homes on the Hikshari Trail because a few businesses complained, you think the NIMBYs will allow one in their neighborhood? In such a case, I would probably be a NIMBY also. But as someone who rides and walks the full stretch of the waterfront trail quite often, I thought the spot near the Fire Dept training site was perfect. Would it have attracted more homeless? Can’t see how, that area is already crawling with them.

    • This site was wanted by Danco about 2 or 3 years ago. The deal was that they would build high density low income housing on this site. The surrounding neighborhood protested as they did not want the neighborhood turned into a higher crime area, and the deal was dropped. The current building is full of asbestos and why one of the major reasons the school district hasn’t done anything with it, the cost of abatement is staggering.

      • FYI, I am one of the neighbors and know most of the surrounding home owners. Most of the neighborhood are just rentals.
        I know of no one who protested on my block. I assume there were other reasons that the low income idea got shot down.

      • I’d imagine after danco ran the numbers and figured out they would actually be losing money by building low-income housing they pulled the plug themselves. California has made it very expensive to the point where you can’t get your money back by the time the buildings is completely destroyed and needing renovation.

        • no it was the asbestos. this was about a 1 million dollar abatement. I find it amazing that the homeless primarily target asbestos rich buildings in Eureka that are stated for redevelopment. amazing.

    • I personally would not want drug use or mental illness concentrated next door to me either. It is selfish but wanting to be safe, peaceful and clean is a form of selfishness. But not the least unreasonable. Or undesirable, despite those complaint about NIMBYs.

      Maybe there ought to be a zoning ordinance where some areas are available for such projects and anyone choosing to buy property there knows the risks in advance. And not available in others where peaceful living is prioritized.

  • Blight – that Eureka tax-payers are funding.

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