Family-owned business destroyed by fire in Atwater

Vince Ybarra Image
Monday, June 5, 2023
Family-owned business destroyed by fire in Atwater
An early morning fire destroyed a family-owned business that's been operating in Atwater since 1988.

ATWATER, Calif. (KFSN) -- An early morning fire destroyed a family-owned business operating in Atwater since 1988.

First responders received calls of a fire at Atwater Feed a little after 1 am, early Sunday morning.

The business is located on Atwater Boulevard and Applegate Road.

"Upon their arrival, they identified they had an active, well-established fire at the southwest corner of the building," said Cal Fire Atwater Battalion Chief Bobby Ayuso.

He said crews are still trying to clean up on Monday morning.

Pictures from its Facebook page show the family-owned business engulfed in flames.

The Merced County Fire Department also assisted with battling the fire.

Ayuso said early estimates of the damage are over $100,000. But that number is expected to rise as investigators go through the wreckage.

Ayuso said the building had been around for several decades, and this is a big loss to the Atwater community.

"There is a lot of history with this building. So, it's definitely a hit to our community, and it's a prominent business owner in the area. We're very saddened that this happened," said Ayuso.

The fire is still under investigation. There is no suspect in custody, and arson does not appear to be a factor at this time.

Across the street, small business owner Christina Delos Reyes is devastated after seeing what's left of the business.

"It just breaks my heart to see that everything they worked hard for, years, it's just now rubble," said Delos Reyes.

She said the owners are kind, always going out of their way to help people. And that kindness is also felt at her business.

"We all look out for each other here. It's a small community. Atwater is full of small businesses, so if we look out for each other, it really helps out," said Delos Reyes.

The owners of Atwater Feed tell Action News that the outpouring of love and support from the community has gotten them through this challenging time, and they wanted to thank the good people in Atwater for their support.

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