In May, a fire ripping through a 10-acre wooden pallet yard and spreading to a nearby tire center, caused an estimated $2.5 million in damages. Nearby residents were evacuated, but thankfully, no one was injured. The fire started at Pallet Market, Inc. in Fontana, California. Pallet Market supplies wooden pallets and pallet related services to various industries, including food, office, and logistics. The business opened 10 years ago will have to close, at least temporarily, until they can figure out what to do next. Pallet Market employed 60 people.

Authorities say the yard was full of thousands of dry wooden pallets, stacked hundreds high. Residents said that smoke could be seen for miles.Flames burned 80 feet high and took over five hours to get under control. Approximately 170 firefighters and 25 engine companies reported to the scene. The fire started among the stacks of pallets and then spread to a storage yard containing semi-truck tires. Several small explosions, most likely the result of propane tanks that power forklifts, made firefighting efforts difficult.

The pallet yard was completely destroyed, along with an adjacent warehouse and a tire center warehouse. The manager of Pallets Inc. stated, “It’s done. We’ve got nothing to ship anymore”. The manager of the tire center said that he had never seen a truck center fire in the 25 years he’s been in the business and while there was significant damage, the center would be able to overcome and continue with business as usual.

The incident is still under investigation, however initial reports indicate that the fire was started by a welding operation earlier in the day.