Friday, October 30, 2015

Another Fire in a Squires Property

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 2:44 PM

click to enlarge 811 H St. - GOOGLE STREETVIEW
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  • 811 H St.
Humboldt Bay Fire spent an hour and a half fighting a blaze near downtown Eureka early this morning, holding off its firefighting efforts at one point as propane tanks exploded inside the vacant home’s garage.

The fire, which appeared to start in the garage and spread to the residence at 811 H St., was reported shortly after midnight. HBF reports that the fire is under investigation and is suspicious in nature.

HBF Battalion Chief William Reynolds confirmed to the Journal that 811 H St. is owned by Floyd Squires, and said the notorious Eureka landlord did not respond to the scene of fire. Reynolds said dispatch tried to contact Squires as the fire burned, and that he wasn’t sure if the fire investigators have been able to reach him yet.

It’s second fire in a Squires-owned property this year. The property owner also saw his Blue Heron hotel boarded up by the city in February. His legal problems with the city have persisted for years.

From Humboldt Bay Fire:

At approximately 0022 hours, Humboldt Bay Fire (HBF) was dispatched to a reported structure fire on the 800 block of H St. Two fire engines, one ladder truck, one squad, and two duty officers responded on the first alarm assignment.

The first arriving Battalion Chief reported heavy gray smoke pushing from a single story attached garage in the alley behind 811 H St. The ladder truck crew was assigned to begin working to gain entry to the garage as the first arriving fire engine began setting up for fire attack. While gaining entry to the garage via the roll up doors, fire began showing from the interior and two propane cylinders exploded within the structure. Fire crews momentarily retreated before re-engaging in suppression efforts. With the garage now heavily involved in fire, the fire began extending to the attached vacant residential structure. At that time, a second alarm was called bringing another fire engine from HBF, and an additional engine and Chief Officer from Arcata Fire District to the scene.

Due to the building construction and age, as well as the fire extending to the attic of the structure, fire crews worked approximately 90 minutes to get full control of the fire. With the building being vacant, plywood over the doors and windows slowed access to the interior of the structure, but crews were able to do a thorough search and determine that there was no one inside.

Crews remained on scene for several hours overhauling the fire to ensure it was completely out. Preliminary damage estimates show approximately $75,000 in damage to the structure. There were no injuries to civilians or fire personnel.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but is suspicious in nature.

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Grant Scott-Goforth

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Grant Scott-Goforth has been an assistant editor and staff writer for The Journal since 2013.

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