Fire razes vacant Patterson condos

10/04/2012 9:37 AM

10/04/2012 10:54 PM

A vacant condominium property went down in flames early Thursday in Patterson.

The fire broke out at 1 a.m. at the property at the southeast corner of Highway 33 and Ivy Avenue, according to Patterson City Councilwoman Deborah Novelli.

Novelli said the fire burned for about 90 minutes. "Thankfully, there were no injuries and no evacuations," Novelli said.

The property has been in foreclosure for more than a year. It's owned by Omni Financial of Capitola.

Fire crews and a fire investigator were at the scene throughout the morning.

According to the Patterson Irrigator, the La Paloma condominiums were partially built, but construction has been at a standstill for more than four years.

"When I arrived on scene, both buildings were fully engulfed," Patterson Fire Division Chief Jeff Breasher, who was in charge of the incident, told the Irrigator. "The first building to the west collapsed within 10 minutes."

Breasher told the newspaper that a combination of dry wood and the fact that the buildings were open led to a very fast-moving fire, which he is calling suspicious.

"There is no electricity, no natural gas, the buildings weren't occupied, and no reports of lightning in the area," Breasher told the Irrigator. "All indications are this has a human cause."

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