Late Wednesday night, intense flames ripped through the loading area of a commercial building in Ontario. Employees were forced to flee the building and firefighters searched for the cause.
On Wednesday night, around 11 p.m., an Ontario Fire Department crew responded to a burning fire near the outside of a building at Proforma Avenue.
U.S. Merchants owns the building. The facility was designed for manufacturing and distribution.
The flames were first reported to have erupted in the truck yard on the west side, then spread to the interior.
The fire quickly grew to a two-alarm and then three-alarm fire. 64 people were on the scene to battle the flames.
The chief of the Ontario Fire Department said that the wood pallets and the raw plastic materials that fuelled the fire made it more difficult to extinguish.
Both the interior and exterior fires have been put out, but extensive work will be required to rebuild the building.
Employees who were present at the time of fire managed to flee the building. Some of them claimed that they didn’t know the fire had spread inside the building because they fled the area before it happened. Others reported hearing explosions.
“I just got up and started putting all the machines in manual, and then I started to walk outside, and the fire was in the receiving yard,”One employee said so.
No injuries were reported.
According to one employee, there was a propane tank in the building. “big concern.”However, firefighters prevented the tank’s explosion.
The fire was nearly out by 5 AM Thursday morning. Employees of the facility worked with firefighters to make sure that the flames were not rekindled by any plastic materials in the building.
San Bernardino County Fire Protection and Montclair Fire Departments are providing assistance to the Ontario Fire Department. Expect fire personnel to be at the scene for several hour.
Capt. Mike Gonzalez from the Ontario Fire Department stated that the fire is not a danger, but that people working in the area may have trouble parking.
Investigating the cause of the fire is ongoing.