Fire damages PRC, no one injured

The Pacifica Resource Center was the scene of a fire last week. It continues to serve clients even as the investigation into the blaze continues.

fire at the Pacifica Resource Center the night of Sept. 22 left the back of the Palmetto Avenue building burned, but there were no injuries. The cost of repairs remains unknown a week later.

The first arriving fire company reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the back of the commercial building, on the exterior terrace, around 10 p.m. Firefighters began search and rescue operations and simultaneously used hose lines to attack and confine the fire to the back half of the building and the terrace at 1809 Palmetto Ave. Firefighters found no trapped tenants. The aggressive fire attack kept the flames from spreading to the neighboring buildings, officials said.

After about two hours, the fire was completely controlled and extinguished. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Fire Prevention Services Bureau.

Capt. Bill Glasgo, Pacifica Police Department public information officer, said police closed Palmetto Avenue between Santa Maria Avenue and Salada Avenue for about two hours to help maintain the security for the fire personnel.

PRC will seek bids for fire restoration services to dry things out and from general contractors to make repairs in the areas damaged, said Anita Rees, director of PRC. 

“We are focusing on getting repairs done as soon as possible,” Rees said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, Rees said. The North County Fire Authority investigator told Rees it was probably not arson because there was no one known to be there that evening, she said, but a full North Coast County Fire Authority report and Pacifica Police Department report will be coming.

Staff is using the building, even though it is unpleasant to be inside, Rees said.

“It was traumatic for staff,” said Rees.

“The fire didn’t get inside the building but did get into the attic area over our reception area,” Rees wrote in an email to the Tribune. “The fire department responded quickly. Cpl. Smith of the Pacifica Police Department managed everything and was so helpful.”

Pacifica Police encourages anyone with information to call (650) 738-7314 and refer to Case No. 21-2584. r

Jane Northrop has covered Pacifica for the Pacifica Tribune since 1996. She has won first place John Swett Awards from the California Teachers Association for her coverage of education.

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