Vacant former nightclub goes up in flames in early morning fire

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An early morning fire caught a vacant former nightclub ablaze and the building was just sold and going through escrow. (KFSN)

An early morning fire caught a vacant former nightclub ablaze in the area of Blackstone Avenue near Harvey in Central Fresno and the building was just sold and going through escrow.

The fire was called in around 3 a.m. and it does not appear to be suspicious but the cause is under investigation.

Fire crews arrived to find flames coming from the front part of the newly purchased building that once was a happening nightclub. They were able to contain the fire to the entrance portion of the empty building that was in the process of being sold.

"The building wasn't on the market but some investors wanted to buy it; worked with the seller and the buyer's agent," said Tom Debey of Landmark Properties.

The 15-day escrow was set to close Friday but now the seller's insurance company is on the hook for fire damages.

Investigators believe the fire started in an outside alcove and spread to inside, then up to the attic. It did not get too far into the structure before firefighters doused the flames.

Right now there is not enough evidence to determine if the fire was intentionally or accidentally set, but it does not appear any item was tossed inside the building to ignite the fire.

"There's none that were aware of at this point. That certainly was one of the hypotheses that we considered and looked for any type of data or evidence of that," said Deputy Fire Marshall Don Macalpine.

No witnesses were in the area when fire crews showed up, which makes reaching any conclusion even more difficult. A surveillance camera in the area was not working properly, so investigators have very few concrete clues to rely on.

The realtor selling the property said the past few years the boarded-up building has attracted vandals.

"Either homeless or burglary type of things, people who didn't belong there. I don't know what their issue was but they didn't belong in the building at times in the past," said Debey.

Fire investigators say the damage is estimated to be about $30,000 dollars.

Related Topics:
building firenightclubFresno
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