Screenshot from the video by the Sacramento fire department
04 Jun 2020

200 California firefighters struggled with limited water supply in a large industrial fire


More than 200 firefighters were on June 1st  battling a large scale fire that spread to multiple buildings in a south Sacramento industrial area. The water supply was a great challenge since the building was off the main water grid.

The fire engulfed a pallet yard and adjacent at least three adjacent businesses, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The fire accured about six miles south of downtown, where a demonstration against police brutality was taking place earlier Monday evening. Smoke was visible in many parts of the city and flames rose as high as 50 feet. The flames could be observed from at least a mile away.

Four firefighters suffered minor injuries and one were taken to a hospital as a precaution. 

We do not know how the fire started, Fire Chief Gary Loesch told reporters at the scene around 11 p.m. Monday. No one was in the buildings.

There was a large storage propane tank impacted by fire, which created a concern for a possible explosion, according to fire spokesman Capt. Keith Wade.

The big challenge was water, and crews were forced to use the small amount of water they had available to keep the propane tanks cool. 

“We are having challenges with the water supply in this unincorporated swath of the county,” Wade said in a text message.

The fire services had to lay down a supply line in extended length to reach a fire hydrant on the city water grid that could provide adequate pressure.