RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. --
Investigators are working to find out what started a three-alarm fire that resulted in major damage Wednesday morning at two Rancho Cordova auto dismantling businesses.
The blaze, which was reported at about 3:40 a.m., occurred at Happy Auto Parts and V and O Auto Dismantler, which share a building in the 3400 block of Sunrise Boulevard.
The fire was raging when firefighters arrived, forcing crews to take a defensive stance.
"When the first crew arrived, the fire was fully involved," said Capt. Rusty Dupray of Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District.
Officials said the blaze was too dangerous for firefighters to go inside or work from the roof of the building, so crews used water hoses to battle flames from the outside. Even at 5 a.m., they were still putting out hot spots.
Morning commuters could smell smoke from more than a mile away. A hazardous materials crew took an early-morning assessment of pollution both in the air and from the water runoff as firefighters mopped up inside the building. Dupray said it is typical in fires of this size to do an environmental assessment.
In addition to metal auto parts, the building also contained plastic materials that burned, Dupray said. The fire destroyed everything inside Happy Auto Parts.
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