VALLEJO (BCN) — A fire at a Vallejo laundromat likely started when someone used a blowtorch to try and enter through a steel back door, Vallejo Fire Department paramedic and Engineer Kevin Brown said Tuesday afternoon.
The metal back door was scorched from the would be intruder using the blowtorch for several minutes, and the heat likely ignited brooms and towels in a utility closet located behind the door, Brown said.
A homeless person who wanted to get out of the cold called the Fire Department around 5:20 a.m. when he saw smoke and flames inside the Launderland Coin-Op Laundry in a strip mall at 627 Tennessee St., Brown said.
The two-alarm fire also damaged electricity and closed a nearby bakery and thrift store, Brown said.
Damage to the structure is estimated at $250,000.
Firefighters controlled the fire within 45 minutes and prevented it from spreading through a common attic to other businesses, some of which sustained smoke damage, Engineer Danny Gutierrez said.
Launderland has an automatic lock release and the business was open when firefighters arrived.
The fire spread to the front of the business where washers and dryers are located but no one was inside, Gutierrez said.