MADERA, Calif. (KGPE) – A fire broke out at Public Auction R Us in Madera on Thursday before 11:00 a.m. with thick black smoke filling the air in the area. The auction house is located on Highway 41 and Avenue 11.
Fortunately, fire officials said there were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“Witnesses are going to be key in this. Due to the damage, it’ll be hard to track down where it might have come from,” said Andrew Overbay, battalion chief for Madera County with CAL Fire.
Madera Ranchos resident George Higgins said he was driving on Highway 41, the road he takes on his way to get gas before work. He said he stopped when he saw a fire outside of the building.
“I couldn’t believe how fast that fire spread, it went fast,” Higgins said. “Saw black smoke coming of these boxes.”
But the flames quickly spread to the building.
“When our first engine arrived on scene, they did have the building fully involved when they arrived, so that was within a matter of minutes when the dispatch happened at 11:02,” Overbay said.
Multiple agencies responded including Madera County Fire and Fresno Fire. Overbay said the building stored auction material inside and outside the structure, adding that there was a lot of debris out front.
“As far as the structure, not likely there will be anything salvageable interior or exterior,” Overbay said. “Should be a heavy dollar damage loss due to the amount of contents.”
In addition to speaking with witnesses, Overbay said investigators will try to find burn patterns to help determine the cause of the fire.