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Three-alarm fire destroys National City warehouse

Firefighters battled a massive three-alarm fire that ignited late Monday night at a National City warehouse and damage from the blaze is expected to be in the millions, a National City fire official said.

It wasn’t immediately known what sparked the fire, which extensively damaged the Western Hose and Gasket building on West 30th Street and Harding Avenue.

The fire was reported around 11:05 p.m. by people driving on Interstate 5 and state Route 54 who said they saw flames burning through the warehouse roof, National City Battalion Chief/Fire Investigator Robert Hernandez told OnScene TV.

“Upon arrival National City units and Chula Vista units found immediately they had fire coming from the roof and quite extensive fire coming from several portions of the building,” Hernandez said.

Fire officials called for a second alarm and then a third alarm, bringing additional firefighters from San Diego and Bonita to assist.

Individuals reported hearing explosions as the fire burned. Company officials told firefighters there was rubber, plastic, large piles of paper and propane used to fuel forklifts inside the warehouse.

As the fire raged, crews worked to contain the flames to the warehouse, and to keep it from spreading to neighboring buildings, Hernandez said.

“The fire became a defensive fire with quite a bit of fire extending through the roof and exposing a large commercial building just to its east,” Hernandez said. “Fire crews were able to put a line in between the fire that was actively consuming the commercial warehouse to protect the commercial warehouse immediately to its east.”

He said it was too early to make a formal damage estimate.

“The dollar value I think at this point, we have to assume — it is a very large commercial building that takes up a very large portion of the block —so without… a true fire investigation, we are looking (at) this fire (damage to be) into the millions,” he said.

No other details were immediately available.

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