STOCKTON — Following three destructive and dangerous fires at pallet yards over the last two years, the city of Stockton shut down six of them Wednesday morning.
Fire Marshal Richard Edwards says pallet yard operators must now clear spaces around water sources, fire hydrants and access roads.
“They can no longer take in any new pallets, they’re not allowed to repair, they’re not allowed to build new pallets,” Edwards said. “The only operation they can do is actually physically remove the pallets onsite.”
Back in May, flames filled the air on East Market Street, forcing families like Lela Speegle’s to run for their lives.
“We thought we were goners. When we seen the flames coming over the roofs we were like, ‘Oh my God, we’re goners,'” Speegle said.
The fire was put out — but not Speegle’s worries. She claims there have been at least four other fires since then.
“Since that big fire, we’ve called them three to four times out for more fires,” Speegle said.
California Pallets was also forced to stop business. It was the site of another large fire in April. Edwards says these incidents are not only dangerous, but they also strain resources.
He says only when these operators fix the issues will they be allowed to operate again.