Los Banos

January 11, 2014

Santa Fe Market tallies loss: $500K

A three-alarm fire Wednesday night caused at least $500,000 in damage at a downtown market, according to a Fire Department official.

A three-alarm fire Wednesday night caused at least $500,000 in damage at a downtown market, according to a Fire Department official.

Fire Chief Chet Guintini said his department responded to the fire at 11 p.m. at Santa Fe Market, 1109 Sixth St. The store had closed at 9:30 p.m.

“The fire was on the north side of the building. There was a large amount of smoke,” Guintini said.

He said the fire appears to be electrical in origin and likely started in a storage room.

Guintini said his department sent 20 firefighters and four engines to the scene, and the Merced County Fire Department provided assistance with two engines and six firefighters. He said three alarms were issued before the blaze was extinguished.

“We had to cut holes in the roof,” Guintini said, explaining that additional ventilation was needed to gain control of the fire.

He said the store owner told him that $200,000 worth of inventory was destroyed in the fire. Guintini estimates an additional $300,000 to $350,000 in damage was done to the structure.

Guintini said no firefighters were hurt. He also said the damage to the store was contained to the north side.

Santa Fe Market was closed Thursday. It is uncertain how soon the business will reopen

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