3-Alarm Fire Destroys Lafayette Businesses

LAFAYETTE (CBS SF) – Firefighters are putting out hot spots at a commercial building in Lafayette where a three-alarm fire broke out late Wednesday night, according to a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District spokesman.

According to Fire Marshal Robert Marshall, the fire was reported at 11:58 p.m. Wednesday at 100 Lafayette Circle.

KPIX 5 anchor Ken Bastida stopped and took video of firefighters battling the blaze on his way home from work at around midnight.

The fire was contained just before 1 a.m.

The commercial building houses at least nine businesses, including the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the popular La Finestra restaurant, a nail salon and an accountant’s office, Marshall said.

Marshall called the building a “complete loss.” He said the building’s roof collapsed and the entire second floor was gone.

According to Marshall, three neighboring apartment buildings were evacuated, but all the residents have since been allowed to return.

“We did evacuate three buildings initially because of the amount of radiant heat,” explained Marshall. “We also had some propane tanks that were exploding, so we wanted to make sure everyone was safe from that.”

Nearly seven hours after the fire started, crews were still putting out hot spots and dumping water on the charred building.

For two decades Marta Chavalas ran her skincare business from the second floor office it occupied. The entire floor collapsed, a total loss.

“I am in shock. I just found out about half hour ago,” Chavalas told KPIX 5. “There’s CPA in the building, there’s a salon. All of our lives are impacted”

There were no reports of injuries, however fire officials estimate that the fire caused about $1.1 million in damage.

“Obviously it is tragic. There’s financial loss. there’s emotional loss,” said Leila Douglah with the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. “And when tragedy, happens I am sure the community will come together.”

Firefighters remained on the scene and the cause of the blaze is under investigation, Marshall said.

It could be days or even weeks before they have an answer.

© Copyright 2017 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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