Tow truck blamed for destructive pallet factory fire in CA

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. — The spread of a more than 40-acre fire south of Sonoma was halted Sunday evening after it burned for several hours, but firefighters remained on the scene and road closures were likely to continue overnight, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said.

The brush fire, first reported on the right-hand shoulder of state Highway 121 north of Eighth Street East around 1:30 p.m., grew to more than 40 acres, CHP Officer Anna Paulson said.

The fire centered on a pallet factory at the corner of Highway 121 and Fremont Drive. Several trailers in the area and warehouse structures were destroyed, as well as factory equipment, Paulson said.

The fire damaged power lines and a transformer in the area, causing a power loss in the area, Paulson said. PG&E was on scene late Sunday evening.

By Monday morning, the power was restored to all 155 PG&E customers who lost it during the fire. PG&E spokeswoman Brittany McKannay said the power went out in the

Broadway, San Luis Road and Shainsky Road areas south of Sonoma around 5:50

p.m. Sunday. A transmission line had become disconnected, she said.

Power was restored to 130 customers by 3 a.m. Monday and to everyone by 6 a.m., McKannay said.

A propane tank also exploded during the fire, Paulson said.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. William Bradshaw said it was believed that the fire started when chains on a tow truck that was towing a vehicle caused sparks that started a vegetation fire along state Highway 121 shortly after 1:30 p.m.

A CHP officer who was driving behind the tow truck saw smoke and called the nearby Schell Vista Fire Protection District, Bradshaw said.

The tow truck driver stopped on Highway 121 near Eighth Street East, Bradshaw said.

The fire spread to the Sonoma Pacific Company at 1180 Fremont Drive.

Several trailers and warehouse structures in that area were destroyed, CHP Officer Anna Paulson said Sunday.

The phone at American Pacific Company was busy all morning. The company has been making and distributing pallets and custom containers for companies in the western United States since 1972, according to its website.

via Tow truck blamed for destructive pallet factory fire |

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