Photos: HBF

Humboldt Bay Fire press release: 

At 5:56am on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 the smell of smoke prompted a passerby in the vicinity of Watson and D Streets to call 9-1-1.

An EPD Officer was first on scene and located heavy black smoke coming from a large, abandoned two-story Victorian structure on the 1600 block of D Street. Battalion 8103 arrived shortly thereafter and found fire erupting from the rear of the structure, quickly upgrading the response to a second alarm and drawing in HBF’s fifth engine and a mutual aid company to the scene.

The fire was initially declared an offensive fire and the first engine on scene began fire attack on the second floor. Due to deteriorating fire conditions, the engine company reported they were backing out of the structure and triggered a switch to a defensive fire operation.

The crew of Truck 8181 extended the aerial ladder and began flowing water from above down onto the flames, protecting nearby residences. Due to a partial collapse of the roof, the Truck was able to extinguish a large portion of fire from above and improve conditions enough to warrant crews re-entering the structure for an offensive attack and search for victims. The fire was completely controlled and extinguished shortly thereafter.

Once the fire was contained and the investigation complete, City of Eureka Code Enforcement took control of the scene and boarded up the building for safety.

The structure was vacant at the time of the fire and there were no injuries to civilians or fire personnel. Fire and smoke damage to the second story and attic of the structure is extensive, estimated at $200,000.

The fire appears to be human-caused and remains under investigation. We encourage anyone who may have seen or heard anything at the time of the fire to call our headquarters station at 707-441-4000.

Humboldt Bay Fire would like to thank Eureka Police Department, Arcata Fire District, City Ambulance, City of Eureka Code Enforcement and Director of Public Works, and Humboldt Bay Fire Support for their assistance on scene. We would additionally like to thank Samoa Peninsula Fire District and Cal Fire for covering HBF’s jurisdiction while units were committed on scene.