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Historic Building in Stockton Torn Down Following Fire

STOCKTON -- Another historic Stockton building bites the dust.

This time the building was in the Magnolia District, and construction crews clawed through the remaining walls of a Victorian four-plex that caught fire late Tuesday -- spreading to two nearby buildings and forcing the evacuation of eight families.

"We had the fire late last night, we assessed the building this morning, and it’s getting torn down the same day," said Peter Lemos, with Stockton Code Enforcement.

It usually doesn't happen that fast, but code enforcement says the vacant property had a long history of problems, including citations, fines and abatement fees.

Now, they says it's a danger to the neighborhood because two nearby buildings were damaged.

“Well it seems to me that some of the fires we’ve had are places that have already been on fire previously,” said Stockton City Councilwoman Christina Fugazi.

Fugazi says this same property caught fire a few years ago and she's tired of seeing that cycle repeat itself in the city.

"It's some kind of human error that ultimately is responsible, so we absolutely need to make sure that we secure these buildings, so that we don’t lose anymore of them,” Fugazi said.

"We’ll literally board up the door and they’ll dig through walls," Lemos said.

Code enforcement says it's a constant struggle keeping people who don't belong on vacant properties off of them.

In the middle of FOX40's interview with Lemos, he spotted another structure fire right around the corner at another historic building that had also caught fire before.

"I don’t know, it’s painful. Hopefully we can come together and make this a better place. It;s some place special," said Stockton resident Ernest Peterson.