April 24, 2024

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New apartment building being built in Sacramento goes up in flames

3 min read

SACRAMENTO — A massive fire erupted overnight into Tuesday at a Sacramento apartment building under construction.

Sacramento Fire says one of their engines was heading back from a medical aid call when they noticed some smoke near 19th and X streets. After investigating it a little further, crews encountered the building engulfed in flames. 

The building involved is a new, five-story mixed commercial and apartment structure that was under construction. 

Firefighters say at least one building is a total loss. No injuries have been reported.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg noted how the project was meant to address the need for affordable housing in the city. 

“We are disappointed that it will be delayed but so grateful for the tireless efforts of our firefighters, who worked into the early hours this morning and saved half of the project along Broadway. We are relieved that nobody was hurt,” Steinberg wrote on X/Twitter.

Who is the builder and what’s next?

The construction company, Brown Construction, Inc., is based out of West Sacramento. They’ve been licensed since 1980.

In a statement, the construction company said they were still waiting for more information from fire and other officials. 

“Brown Construction’s first priority is the safety of the public and safety of crews working in close proximity to the damaged structure. We appreciate the efforts of the Sacramento Fire Department to lessen the amount of damage on this project. At this point we are awaiting additional information from both fire and building departments, as well as insurance providers, regarding cause and next steps forward,” the company stated.

In the meantime, Brown Construction has shut down traffic and pedestrian access to areas deemed unstable and says they’ll remove those unsafe conditions as soon as possible and get to rebuilding.

Neighbors say it was “like a huge oven”

More than 120 firefighters were deployed to put out the fire and stop the spread. One nearby homeowner says it isn’t anything new to hear sirens, but the ongoing sirens alerted him that something was wrong.

“I noticed it just kept coming and coming, and then I noticed my house was a little too warm for this time of night,” said Humberto Lopez, who lives nearby. “We went outside and we noticed a big blaze.”

Jeanne Neal was one neighbor who walked outside during the active fire and said it felt like she stepped right into summer.

“it was like a huge oven, so hot,”  Neal said.

Neal added that the scene felt reminiscent of conditions in another state.

“My dad lived in Arizona and he said when you walk outside, sometimes it’s kind of like hitting a brick wall,” she said. “That’s what it was like.”

Sacramento Fire said a priority was making sure the flames didn’t jump the alley there.

“To have it so close, the fact it was so big, I’m a block from here. How hard would it be to jump over there?” nearby resident Scott Dworkis wondered.


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