Stockton firefighters were called to the scene of the commercial fire in the 1000 block of East Oak Street just east of the railroad tracks about 9:30 a.m. A third alarm was quickly dispatched when it was realized the large structure of interconnected warehouses required additional manpower and equipment, Battalion Chief John Titus said.
A total of 40 firefighters--including 10 who were off-duty--eight engines and three trucks responded. No one was working inside the buildings at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported, either to civilians or firefighters, Titus reported.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, he said.
One of the businesses that suffered an estimated $200,000 loss was Valley Auto Network, a small car dealership that repairs and sells used vehicles. Jimmy Sahibzada owns and operates the business with his brother.
"We have 25 to 30 cars in there. It's hard to say if they're OK," Sahibzada said outside the remains of his 20,000-square-foot business as firefighters continued to put water on random flare-ups a few hours after the smoky blaze broke out.
"We lost equipment, cars, machinery, mechanics tools. It's all very expensive.
"Now everything is gone."
He was concerned primarily about all the paperwork in his office, especially car title and registration papers. He wanted recent customers to make sure they have registered their vehicles properly.
Alcazar Adalid owns the body shop next door — Magic Auto Repair — that shares the same building. He believed he had 12 to 14 vehicles inside his one-man shop.
"I think I lost $100,000. There are a lot of tools, equipment and vehicles in there," a distraught Adalid said outside the smoldering business he has operated for the past four years.
Firefighters were at the scene most of the day mopping up and making sure what remained of the skeletal remains of the building was safe and secure.
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