Abe’s Discount Plumbing and Electrical, one of the longest running businesses in the south Modesto area, went up in flames early Sunday.
The business has been operating on South Ninth Street within the shadow of a Highway 99 overpass for decades. A 2:30 a.m. fire that broke out at the business inflicted damage to every building on the site. Three buildings were destroyed while two had significant damage, said Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department Battalion Chief Eric DeHart.
Four warehouse and storage buildings were destroyed but the main office and showroom at the north end of the property was largely saved. However, the rear half of the showroom nearest the freeway was destroyed.
The three-alarm fire was battled by numerous agencies, including Modesto Stanislaus Consolidated and Turlock, and firefighters had things under control within three hours. Fire crews ordered water tenders to be delivered because the area has an issue with water availability.
The fire was fueled by cardboard boxes and highly combustible materials such as PVC pipe, which is petroleum based.
Ceres Engine 19 was the first engine on scene, having been spotted at the former Industrial Fire Station on the opposite side of Highway 99.
Firefighters were able to spare the neighboring Driftwood Inn to the south from sustaining anything more than minimal damage.
There were no reports of injuries.
The cause of the fire is being examined by the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigation Unit.