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Fire contained at Teamsters headquarters in Santa Rosa

Firefighters quickly contained a two-alarm fire that broke out Saturday evening at a Teamsters building in east Santa Rosa.

The fire, reported around 5:45 p.m., was in a concrete building on the 1300 block of Neotomas Avenue that serves as a headquarters for the Teamsters Local 665. Flames and smoke were discovered by police officers responding to a burglar alarm likely triggered by the fire, according to Santa Rosa Sgt. Steve Pehlke.

Santa Rosa firefighters responded within five minutes, according to Battalion Chief Mark Basque. After seeing the size of the fire and amount of smoke inside, Basque ordered additional resources, totaling six fire engines, two ladder trucks, two chiefs and a fire investigator. Rincon Valley Fire also assisted with a rescue truck.

The locked building required firefighters to break in for access. Basque said the room where the fire started was destroyed and there was heavy smoke damage throughout the roughly 3,500-square-foot building. Damage was estimated at $500,000, Basque said.

A preliminary investigation pointed to an overloaded electrical circuit in the building’s kitchen area as the likely cause of the fire, Basque said.

Mike Yates, president of Teamsters Local 665, arrived at the scene about 10 minutes after the initial call. He said the building was closed Saturday at 3 p.m. following a job fair for electricians, plumbers, sheet metal workers and other tradesmen that drew up to 500 people.

Firefighters knocked the flames down in about 20 minutes and then cut holes with a chainsaw in the roof to ventilate the building.

“In essence, we create a chimney where we want,” said Basque.

The fire investigator arrived shortly after the fire was fully under control.

Yates took the loss in stride.

“It is what it is,” he said. “We’ll figure it out.”

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin Fixler at 707-521-5336 or at kevin.fixler@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @kfixler.

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