The main road from Floral to Locust is closed to traffic as authorities continue their investigation.
FIRE IN VISALIA CENTER: It has been more than 12 hours since a garbage fire destroyed three businesses on W. Main Street yesterday afternoon. Visalia Fire remains on-site monitoring for hot spots.
Κύ The main road from Floral to Locust is closed to traffic 🚧 pic.twitter.com/2aoeAAUh1H
– Amanda Aguilar ABC30 (@AAguilarTV) May 2, 2022
It is an area that usually looks lively and full of life. But by Sunday night, three businesses were left with broken windows and burnt debris after a huge fire hit a building.
Video from the scene shows huge flames rising from the roof of the building, leaving dense gray plumes of smoke visible from several miles away on the Kaweah Health Medical Center’s skycam camera.
It’s a spectacle the Visalia community did not expect.
“Downtown Main Street has already suffered a devastating fire more than once,” said Jan Franey and Gina Griffiths, the building’s owners. “This is the heart of the middle of Main Street. It will be awful.”
The flames grew every minute in the three businesses on Sunday afternoon, including Décor To Adore, Alejandra’s Restaurant and Jimmy Johns.
The fire started in a rubbish bin in the alley before making its way inside.
“We believe it is suspicious,” said Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar. “Visalia PD and Visalia Fire are working together to gather information, surveillance or any information that may lead to the source of the fire.”
More than nine Visalia Fire, Tulare Fire and CAL FIRE fire engines and several Visalia police officers worked to contain the fire.
Firefighters worked through Sunday night to contain the blaze and protect the Visalia Fox Theater and other buildings in the city center.
Chief Salazar said, fortunately, no one was injured.
The owners of Alejandra’s Restaurant told Action News that they are in shock and will have to take the next steps one at a time.
Jan Franey and Gina Griffiths said they feel for the owners with whom they have a close relationship.
“Our hearts go out to Rocky and the owners because with COVID they closed and came back now,” Franey said.
To the owners of Décor to Adore, Sunday’s pain was like a flashback.
Their business was elsewhere, but it burned to the ground less than a year ago.
“It just got out of our hands again,” Octavio, co-owner of Décor, told Adore. “Now, for the second time again, we did not say anything else. We are done.”
Visalia Mayor Steve Nelsen said the community is resilient and optimistic.
“We will do whatever it takes to help support them,” Nelsen said. “We are going to make a call to the community and one thing about Visalia is that when we do that, people respond.”
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Huge fire damages 3 Visalia businesses, including beloved Mexican restaurant Alejandra’s Source link Huge fire damages 3 Visalia businesses, including beloved Mexican restaurant Alejandra’s