Firefighters with the Redlands (California) Fire Department battled a massive fire Friday morning that destroyed a Southern California distribution facility used to ship items to Amazon customers.
No injuries were reported in the three-alarm commercial structure fire at the 600,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in the 2200 block of West Lugonia Ave.
At 5:30 a.m., the first report of the emergency reached firefighters. Arriving crews found heavy flames and plumes of thick black smoke that, at one point, could be seen from nearby mountain communities as rising above the cloud layer, Redlands FD reports via Facebook.
About 100 employees of the distribution center were able to evacuate before the fire department’s arrival.
Fire agencies from throughout San Bernadino County and other surrounding communities responded to the scene. Ladder truck surrounded the burning structure, pouring water onto the flames for several hours.
“We are extremely grateful to our allied agencies for their support,” Redlands Fire Chief Jim Topeleski said.
At one point, the California Highway Patrol closed westbound Interstate 10 to early morning traffic.
By late afternoon, the fire had been brought under control. However, several hot spots remained burning inside the remaining walls of the structure. With structural integrity as major concern, the building’s owner began making plans to stabilize the structure in preparation for it to be dismantled. Firefighters plan to enter with the workers to fully extinguish the fire and continue their investigation.
The cause of the fire remains unknown.