By Maureen Robertson
Firefighters have extinguished a structure fire at Craftstones in Ramona and were awaiting the arrival of sheriff’s bomb and arson investigators Saturday afternoon to help determine the cause of the blaze. No injuries were reported and a damage estimate is not yet available.
Emergency crews were called to the fire at 505 Elm St. at 11:46 a.m. Saturday, and the soccer fields nearby were evacuated due to the amount of smoke and a concern that chemicals were burning, said sheriff’s Deputy C.M. Martinez. Initial reports were that chemicals were exploding outside the industrial building.
“There were reports of explosions and popping from the rear of the structure,” said Julian Cal Fire Battalion
Chief Randy Scales, incident commander at the fire, explaining there was concern that some of the drums outside the building contained chemicals.
A county health Hazardous Materials team tested materials at the scene and officials determined the chemicals are nontoxic, said Scales.
The fire was fully contained by about 12:40 p.m., Scales said.
Someone from Craftstones arrived and left with a dog that was in the yard. Scales said the dog had been cowering in the corner of the yard. Neither Scales nor Martinez know the name of the person who took the dog that Scales believes may be a chocolate Labrador.
Scales said he is waiting for an inventory list before he can provide a damage estimate. The industrial building is about 10,000 square feet, he said, and firefighters were able to contain the fire so there is no water or structural damage to Craftstones offices.
Crews from the Ramona Fire Department, Cal Fire, Cleveland National Forest, California Highway Patrol and sheriff’s Ramona substation were among those responding to the fire.