UPDATE: Health Advisory Lifted After Warehouse Fire in Concord

By Bay City News Service

Firefighters have extinguished a stubborn four-alarm fire that gutted a Concord warehouse Wednesday morning, sending smoke and strong odors of burning plastic across the East Bay, a fire captain said.

The fire was reported at a warehouse in the 2300 block of Stanwell Drive near the Buchanan Field Airport around 12:30 a.m., according to Contra Costa County Fire Protection Capt. Robert Marshall.

A haze of smoke and the smell of burning plastic were reported throughout central Contra Costa County and as far away as Oakland this morning, he said.

Contra Costa Health Services initially advised people living within half a mile of the warehouse who have pre-existing respiratory conditions to avoid the area or stay indoors and close windows and doors. That advisory has since been lifted.

Fire officials advised a nearby dialysis clinic directly downwind of the smoke to close for the day.

The fire was declared under control at about 2:45 a.m. but parts of the warehouse continued to smolder.

By 11 a.m., firefighters had put out the blaze after using a ladder truck to extinguish flames in a hard-to-access corner of the building. Crews were expected to remain on the scene into the afternoon, Marshall said.

Fire crews took a defensive approach to fighting the blaze in order to keep firefighters out of harm's way, the captain said.

According to Marshall, the warehouse is more than 50,000 square feet and serves as the storage and recycling site of a telephone supply company that installs and recycles commercial telephone systems.

Marshall said the fire burned "a lot of plastics, a lot of wire" and that while no official order has been issued, "anyone who can smell the smoke should shelter in place."

He said the smoke and smell of burning plastic is likely to linger well into the afternoon. No injuries have been reported.

A homeless population is known to congregate behind the warehouse near a drainage area, according to Marshall.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and Marshall said fire investigators might not be able to access the building to begin their probe until Thursday.

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.


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