MADERA, Calif. (KGPE) – A fire started Thursday before 11:00 a.m. at the Public Auction R Us in Madera with thick black smoke filling the air in the area. The auction house is located on Highway 41 and Avenue 11.
Fortunately, firefighters said no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
âThe witnesses are going to be the key to all of this. Because of the damage, it will be difficult to determine where it could come from, âsaid Andrew Overbay, Madera County battalion commander with CAL Fire.
George Higgins, a resident of Madera Ranchos, said he drives on Highway 41, the route he takes to refuel before work. He said he had stopped when he saw a fire outside the building.
âI couldn’t believe how quickly this fire spread, it went fast,â Higgins said. “I saw black smoke coming out of these boxes.”
But the flames quickly spread to the building.
âWhen our first engine arrived at the scene, the building was fully involved when they arrived, which only took a few minutes when the dispatch took place at 11:02 am,â Overbay said.
Several agencies responded, including Madera County Fire and Fresno Fire. Overbay said the building was storing auction material inside and outside the structure, adding that there was a lot of debris up front.
âAs far as the structure goes, there probably won’t be anything interior or exterior salvageable,â Overbay said. âIt should be a big loss in dollars because of the amount of content. “
In addition to speaking with witnesses, Overbay said investigators would try to find patterns of the burn to help determine the cause of the blaze.