A commercial manufacturing and storage center in the 1500 block of Morse Ave suddenly erupted in flames just before noon. The large rectangular metal structure houses many individual tenants and businesses. Individual units feature large metal roll up doors and metal security doors.
The entire complex was quite busy with activity at the start of the fire. Neighbors reported seeing smoke in the unoccupied unit. Shortly after, smoke started coming from the adjacent unit. The Fire Communications Center received multiple calls reporting fire.
Firefighter arrived on scene and forced entry through metal roll up doors utilizing large rotary saws and other tools to make access. Once inside, fire crews located the source of the fire in the original unit and performed a quick knock down of the flames within 12 minutes. A coordinated searched for anyone in the business revealed the business was unoccupied at the time of the fire. The adjacent unit, that also had smoke coming from the enclosed structure, had only smoke damage where a roofing joist failed under the heat of the fire.
The commercial condominium was the home to a wood shop. The principal Ventura Fire Investigator found the source of the fire and made a preliminary determination that the fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring. The unit was very well maintained, and the fire load was limited, thus containing the fire to the single unit in the complex.
Ventura Fire Prevention personnel, in combination with Ventura Building and Safety, determined that the building was unsafe for any type of habitation, leaving the facility Red Tagged. The heat from the fire buckled steel I beams and the roof assembly, thus making the unit very dangerous to be in.
The fire resulted in an estimated dollar loss of 25 thousand in contents, and 100 thousand in structural damages.