Sacramento, CA | After an arson fire series at a former Cal Worthington dealership, the fourth fire burned it down.

Sacramento Fire Department responded to a report of smoke coming from a vacant dealership Thursday night at the south-west corner of Franklin Blvd. and Florin Rd. in South Sacramento. When Engine 56 arrived they encountered flames coming from the boarded up doors on the east side of the structure. After they were able to gain access and make an initial attack, it was discovered by the Truck 6 crew on the roof that the fire had extended to the attic and void spaces of the structure.

Due to a recent series of smaller fires in the structure, the latest just a week ago on Friday,  July 27, firefighters expected another and more serious fire. With that in mind, they pre-planned their attack, as they do with any potential such as this, in an effort to mitigate any firefighter injures, according to Niko King, Assistant Chief, Sacramento Fire Department.

During the last fire we disguised with Chief King the dangers this type of fire posses to firefighters. Last night’s “let burn” posture was due to several factors. King explained that in these types of structures, smoke is heavy, termed a “cold smoke” environment, and firefighters can be several deep into the maze of the structure before they are able to locate the actual heat and seat of the fire. If the fire gets into the void spaces where it can run, it posses a major risk to firefighters and the whole situation can turn deadly in seconds, trapping and killing the firefighters.

Some other factors that came into play was the age and structure of the building, the fact that it was vacant with no loss of internal property and goods. Left to stand, the structure would continue to be an ongoing risk and danger.

This was an initial response of one engine, Engine 56, for a smoke investigation, according to King. Engine 56 balanced the assignment to a “commercial structure” status bringing in additional engines, trucks and battalion chiefs. A second alarm was called out with a total of eight engines, six truck companies, one medic unit and five command units. In all, fifty-five firefighters battled this blaze with no injuries.

An arson investigator was on scene early monitoring the fire and it remains under investigation Friday morning.

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