VALLEJO (CBS SF) — Firefighters responded to two two-alarm structure fires in Vallejo that were reported within 15 minutes of each other early Wednesday morning, a Vallejo fire department spokesman said.

The first fire at 1013 Amador St. was reported at 1:50 a.m., Vallejo Fire Department spokesman Mark Libby said. Six engines from the Vallejo department were joined by firefighters from Fairfield, Benicia, Suisun City, Cordelia, Crockett and Travis Air Force Base, Libby said.

The vacant building, a 100-year-old, two-story Victorian that once housed the Vallejo Music Academy, was under renovation, and it’s believed the fire started outside the rear of the structure, Libby said.

Firefighters attacked the blaze from inside the building but retreated when the roof started collapsing, Libby said.

The blaze that destroyed the second floor took an hour to control and a cause has not been determined. Damage is estimated at $200,000.

One of the six engines left that blaze to respond to an attic fire around 2:05 a.m. in a strip mall in the 3400 block of Sonoma Boulevard, Libby said.

Firefighters believe the fire started in the attic of the Peace Baptist Church and spread to the common attic space above other businesses in the strip mall.

Mutual aid agencies also responded. The fire was controlled in about 30 minutes and damage is estimated at $50,000 to $75,000, Libby said.

Libby said the fire department is “on the mend” since Vallejo emerged from bankruptcy.

There once were eight engines and a truck in the department compared to six engines and a truck now.

But ten fire fighters were hired last year, and Fire Station 25 in north Vallejo recently reopened, Libby said.

“We’re able to respond and meet all calls, but when there is a large-scale fire or two, we are taxed within minutes,” Libby said.

It takes longer to release mutual aid fire agencies outside Vallejo from fires, Libby said.

“But they know we need them,” he said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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