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100-year-old building catches fire in San Bernardino

The Harris building prior to catching fire

On Monday, July 8, the fourth floor of the historic Harris building in downtown San Bernardino caught fire. The business had originally opened in 1927, but shut down in 1999 and remained vacant. Unlike the Carousel Mall, the Harris building had not previously been demolished.

The fire had only affected the fourth floor, and was reported around 1:45 p.m. There were roughly 75 firefighters on the scene, and even after an hour, they were still finding homeless people inside. As of 4 p.m., there had been no civilians or firefighters that were injured.

The firefighters had attempted to cut ventilation holes, but had to stop when the roof began to collapse. Eric Sherwin, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department, said, “It is a large building that has fallen victim to a lack of maintenance, lack of use. It forces us to approach this at a very measured pace.”

The cause of the fire is currently unknown, but is being investigated.