UPDATE FROM MERCED CITY FIRE CHIEF REGARDING THE EARLY MORNING FIRE ON CANAL STREET IN MERCED

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“One business owner was in their shop at the time…”

MERCED, CA – The City of Merced Fire Department responded to a working commercial structure fire in downtown Merced.

The fire was located at 1720 Canal Street. Crews were dispatched at 04:41 a.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2016.  The first fire unit arrived at scene and identified heavy smoke coming from the front of a single story commercial structure.  An aggressive fire attack was immediately initiated and the fire was contained to the store the fire originated in. The fire cause is currently under investigation. The business owner was in the building at the time the fire started and self-evacuated prior to the fire departments arrival. The damage was estimated at $75,000 to the structure and $25,000 to the contents.

Fire department resources consisted of 19 personnel on five engines, one truck, and a battalion chief. Additional staff was recalled to staff reserve equipment to provide services to the city while the crews were working the fire.

Due to the safe and aggressive fire attack the fire was contained to the store of origin, thereby saving adjacent historical downtown buildings. Two adjacent business suffered smoke damage and utilities were shut off to the building effecting four other businesses occupying the building.

“Those four businesses are unable to open at this time due to the utilities,” said Merced City Fire Chief Henry to MCNTV News. “It’s going to be up to PG and E about when those businesses can open again.”

The Chief also said that one business owner was in her shop at the time but was able to evacuate safely. No injuries were reported and the Chief also stated that they are investigating how it started and would send an update to all media soon.

Pictures can be found on the City of Merced Fire Department Facebook Page.

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