California, USA – “Everything I have worked so hard for over the past four years, I have lost in one night,” said owner Andy Kakoz.
A crowd of about 50 people gathered across the street to watch firefighters douse the flames of a million dollar discount store in Downtown El Cajon, California. At one point, water from three ladder trucks was being poured on the roof while firefighters on the ground busted windows to pour water on the flames. Firefighters from four agencies fought to bring the fire under control. Even two hours after it started, some flames were still coming of the roof.
The three-alarm fire consumed the entire store and sent firefighters to the hospital. The blaze at Allen's Discount Store started shortly after 9 p.m., says Kakoz. “all was normal when I closed the store at 9 p.m.” Shortly afterward, Kakoz received a call from his alarm company that something was moving inside the store. As he was heading back to the shop, he got another call confirming the fire.
At one point, flames shot out of the roof and thick gray smoke poured out the doors of the store on Main Street, near Lincoln Avenue. Main Street was closed from Roanoke Avenue to Mollison Avenue as firefighters battled the blaze.
Mike Scott, El Cajon fire chief. expected firefighters would remain at the store all night. “There's a lot of merchandise in there,” Scott said. “It's going to take a while to put out all of the hot spots.”