LINCOLN — Tuesday Cal Fire crews spent time hosing down the kind of horrible afternoon that left businesses a field away from Thunder Valley Casino scrambling.
“We’re losing a business,” that’s what Todd Delema, the manager of J.R. Plumbing, thought when he saw the flames advancing and had to evacuate his company.
Luckily, the end result was better than he feared.
“Oh yeah, a lot better,” he said.
Better, but there was significant damage to that business on Rocklin’s Cincinatti Street as flames from a 169-acre grass fire seared what should have been a normal business day.
Delema estimates about 10 pickup trucks were scorched.
Piles of burning PVC and ABS pipe posed another worry for the 100 firefighters battling to get the blaze under control.
“It’s putting up toxic smoke, and we’ve got resources in addressing that as we speak,” said Cal Fire Chief Fred Lopez.
“We had three engines coming through, and they were keeping an eye ’cause, uh, the back of our property line is just beyond the building. And the fire was up to our fence and I was squirting over the edge with water,” described R&S Auto Repair mechanic Brandon Davis.
It was all too much for Davis, who eventually had to put down his hose and evacuate R&S Auto Repair.
The situation wasn’t any less frightening next door at L&S Framing.
“I was pretty scared inside because I thought with all the lumber, it’s all wood and lumber back there, surely it was going to catch fire,” said Chris Lavoie.
Eighty thousand pounds of lumber were in danger of being eaten by flames, but thanks to the quick work of firefighters none was lost.
“Everything was safe. Everything was kept, so we’re good,” Lavoie said.
All three businesses along Cincinnati Street are still standing despite drought, dry land and a mysterious spark doing their worst.
Anybody taking Wednesday off to recover?
“No, open for business. We’ll be here, absolutely,” said Delema.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday Cal Fire listed this fire as 80 percent contained and no cause had been identified.