On Sunday, Sept. 8, one of the abandoned barracks in Marina caught fire. Many nearby residents and California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students paused their weekend activities to check out the unexpected event.
The smoke and flames were seen in between Second Avenue and Eighth St., just across the way from Water City Roller Rink and a few yards from the CSUMB campus. Multiple people crowded around the many fire trucks that were very quick to tend to the fire.
“By the time that I saw it, the firefighters were already in the process of extinguishing the fire,” said bystander, Richard Espinoza. “[The fire] must’ve been under control because the barracks are so old and so close to each other that if one were to burn, I’d expect it to cause a chain reaction with the others.”
In fact, the fire was handled very hastily. According to the Monterey Herald, four different fire departments – including the Marina, Seaside, North Monterey and Presidio of Monterey – all fled to the scene as soon as it was noticed, stopping the fire from spreading to any nearby homes or businesses. While many were glad to see the fire was taken care of so quickly, people are still wondering what started the fire in the first place.
The Marina Fire released that firefighters “were not able to enter the structure, due to the fire and the amount of smoke” and “the cause of the fire has not been determined.” Although bystanders still don’t know the cause of the fire, only one of the barracks was completely burned and no injuries involving the fire were reported.