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Warehouse blaze likely an arson

January 21, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

CALIPATRIA — Fire crews from this city, Niland, Brawley and the county contained a fire to the basement of a warehouse here Sunday afternoon.

With no utilities connected to the abandoned building for some time, officials suspect arson, said Calipatria Fire Chief Chris Hall.

The warehouse, located at 340 E. Main St., was used by a pesticide company and then as a recycling center before it was abandoned, Hall said.

Police believe it had been used as a drug lab in the past, but there were no signs the building had been used for that purpose recently.

Calipatria police Officer Cory Van Driessche discovered the fire about 1:30 p.m., Hall said.

Hall said of the blaze, "We went through a lot of air bottles until they got it opened up and vented and found the fire," Hall said.

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It took crews two hours to extinguish the fire.

The building used to belong to Jensen and Co. of Arizona, but Hall was unsure if the company still owns the building.

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