VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A structure fire in Visalia caused $750,000 in damage to five businesses on Wednesday evening, according to the Visalia Fire Department.
Firefighters responded to the 1200 block of E. Houston Avenue around 11:30 p.m. for reports of a commercial structure fire.
When arriving on the scene, fire crews said that heavy fire and smoke could be seen on the front corner of the first and second floors of the two-story building.
Officials say a second alarm was quickly requested, bringing the total number of responding fire engines to four.
According to fire officials, crews did their best to extinguish the blaze from inside the structure but ultimately had to transition to a defensive attack after learning that the fire had run through the entire length of the attic space.
Authorities say when firefighters began their defensive fire attack, the second-floor roof of the structure burned and fell down into two different businesses located on the second story of the building.
The fire was extinguished about an hour later and when it was safe to enter, fire crews re-entered the building to overhaul and put out any remaining flames in the structure.
The Visalia Fire Department says approximately $350,000 in property damage to the structure and approximately $300,000 to its contents in all five of the businesses that caught on fire.
A total of 22 fire personnel were on scene, according to the fire department and all businesses were closed at the time of the fire.
According to officials, the property was valued at a total of $750,000.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown.