Monterey County

Fire crews battling garage fire on Las Cruces Court in Salinas

SALINAS, Calif. - Salinas fire crews are investigating a garage fire on Las Cruces Court Thursday night that they believe may have been intentionally started by squatters.

Fire officials say the garage caught fire around 9 p.m. and the flames managed to tie up all their resources in the city.

Crews say the garage was heavily involved and it's attached to a two-story duplex, but firefighters were able to keep it mostly to the garage.

The house associated with the garage was vacant and is currently owned by a bank, which had boarded it up because of past issues with vandalism.

Fire crews also say there was a significant onshore breeze, which cause the fire to spread. No one lives inside the home and no one was hurt. They're now taking steps to make sure the structure is safe once they leave.

"We're gonna make sure that the structure is safe for the neighborhood.
Lots of kids live in the neighborhood, " said Battalion Chief Brett Loomis.

"We're gonna be securing the garage area, we're conducting our investigation right now.  We're going to have the building boarded up."

Salinas fire says they got help from a bunch of neighboring fire departments, including Monterey County Regional Fire, Seaside, Marina and the Aromas-Tri County Fire District.

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