Flames engulf Pomona building

Pomona Police Department received a call at approximately 3:52 p.m. regarding a fire Monday at 700 E. Harrison Ave. The site was a vacant commercial building and firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire. Although the owner of the building did not have insurance, there was speculation he planned to demolish the site. After the flames were extinguished, firefighters remained on the scene until the following day for a fire watch. No injuries occurred. / photo by Karla Rendon
Pomona Police Department received a call at approximately 3:52 p.m. regarding a fire Monday at 700 E. Harrison Ave. The site was a vacant commercial building and firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire. Although the owner of the building did not have insurance, there was speculation he planned to demolish the site. After the flames were extinguished, firefighters remained on the scene until the following day for a fire watch. No injuries occurred. / photo by Karla Rendon

Jolene Nacapuy
Editor in Chief
Cody Luk

Online Editor

The Los Angeles County Fire Department Arson Unit is investigating a fire that broke out Monday at a vacant single-story commercial building in Pomona.

Fire department units responded to a call at 700 E. Harrison Ave. in Pomona, near the border with Claremont at approximately 3:52 p.m. Monday.

“The first units responded and said they saw smoke and fire showing from the single-story commercial building,” L.A County Fire Specialist David Dantic said.

At 4:19 p.m., units called for a second alarm, requesting more firefighters. A total of 75 firefighters were on the scene to battle the blaze.

Firefighters had water towers on fire trucks that delivered about 1,000 gallons of water per minute.

“We also went into a defensive attack, meaning that we’re going to attack it from the outside,” L.A. County firefighter Humberto Agurcia said. “We pulled every firefighter from the inside of the building because of danger of collapse.”

At about 5:34 p.m., the fire was under control, according to L.A. County Fire Department Inspector Chris Reede.

Tom Chang Lee is the owner of the property. When reached by phone, Lee refused to comment on the fire.

Lee had plans to demolish the building since it was not being used and he did not have insurance on the building, though he had liability insurance, said Mario Reyes, general manager of operations at Professional Management Restoration and Construction.

Cost investigators were on the scene to estimate the cost of the damage.

“There were no contents lost since it was vacant, so it’s what the building is valued at,” Reede said. “They’re estimating that the property itself is valued at $10,000 minimum.”

It will take a few weeks until the cause is determined by the arson unit.

Jolene Nacapuy can be reached at jolene.nacapuy@laverne.edu.

Cody Luk can be reached at cody.luk@laverne.edu.

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