Tuesday night saw two fires in the Lodi area: A blaze at an office building on South Lower Sacramento Road and one that destroyed several businesses at Tower Park Marina
Shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Lodi Fire Department received a call requesting a smoke investigation at 617 S. Lower Sacramento Road, according to Battalion Chief Ronald Penix, and the first engine on scene arrived to find a building on fire.
“It was an office complex, a large two-story building. We had a fire there about a year ago, and we had one last night,” Penix said on Wednesday. “Homeless people had been getting in the building. We don’t know how it started, but it was pretty well-involved when we got there.”
The fire took approximately 30 minutes to extinguish, Penix said, although it had already spread from the first floor to the second.
“We did have to go up into the second floor and make sure we got it all extinguished,” Penix said.
As Lodi Fire’s Engine 1 was unstaffed — or “browned out” — Tuesday night, Penix said Stockton Fire, Woodbridge Fire and Liberty Fire all responded to assist.
Lodi Fire received four other calls while firefighters were battling the blaze on Lower Sacramento Road, Penix said, and the Engine 1 crew came in while off-duty to assist as well.
Once the Lower Sacramento Road fire was extinguished, Lodi Fire Engine 1 then responded to Tower Park Marina to help with another fire.
“They were there almost four hours,” Penix said.
Woodbridge Rural Fire Protection District received a call about a fire in Tower Park Marina shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday, according to Woodbridge Fire Capt. Darin Downey, and the first firefighters arrived at 9:11 p.m.
“There was heavy smoke — heavy, heavy flame — coming from the structure, from the roof,” Downey said on Wednesday. “There was quite a bit of involvement, somewhere between 25 and 50 percent.”
Approximately 18 engines and trucks responded to the marina, Downey said, with firefighters coming from Woodbridge Fire, Lodi Fire, Stockton Fire, Thornton Fire, River Delta Fire, Morada Fire, Liberty Fire and more to help extinguish the blaze.
“Our last unit just pulled in now,” Downey said on Wednesday afternoon. “It took several hours to get it under control.”
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office also sent their boat, Downey said, which helped Woodbridge Fire’s boat to both supply water to firefighters on land and use their water cannons — known as “monitors” — to help suppress the flames.
Although several businesses and the marina itself suffered extensive damage, Downey said no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, he said.
“Luckily, with our aggressive efforts and a lot of mutual aid from neighboring agencies, we were able to prevent it from getting worse,” Downey said.
Curt Page, owner of West Coast Canvas, said his was one of many businesses destroyed by the Tower Park Marina Fire.
“It was a total loss,” Page said on Wednesday.
After receiving a call at approximately 9:15 p.m. Tuesday from Paul Craft, the marina’s property manager, Cage said he left his Lodi home and arrived to find firefighters from Woodbridge Fire, Lodi Fire and other fire departments already on scene.
“It was the biggest fire response ever,” Page said.
The flames had caused most of the buildings in the marina to collapse, Page said, including the business he started when he was 19 years old.
“My business has been here for 38 years. I employ 22 people full time, and most of my employees have been with me for 15, 20, even 25 years,” Page said. “These are good people, we’re a family.”
Having installed canvas awnings on yachts and other boats for almost four decades, Page said he has built up a customer base that stretches as far as the San Francisco Bay Area.
“We’re going to relocate, but we’ll remain in business,” Page said. “I’m pretty well-known.”
Although his business was destroyed, Page did his best to stay positive and thanked the firefighters who worked to extinguish the blaze before it was able to spread further.
“The fire departments did a wonderful job, they did the best they could with what they had,” Page said. “Nobody got hurt, no injuries whatsoever.”