SAN LORENZO, Calif. --
A fire tore through a liquor store in San Lorenzo Monday night, causing the stores ceiling to collapse and for a time giving firefighters all they could handle.
The fire was reported at 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of Meekland Avenue and Blossom Way.
The closest fire station was just a block away, so the first engine arrived within seconds. Still, the building was already engulfed in flames with fire erupting through the roof.
Firefighters initially tried to make an aggressive entry into the building to put out the fire.
But it soon became apparent that the dangerous fire was growing too quickly to do that.
Firefighters stayed on the outside to battle the flames. There was concern the roof might collapse. At one point, the facade of the building came down.
A sheriff's deputy who happened to be just a block away and saw the smoke as firefighter's arrived on scene made sure nobody was still inside the burning building.
The store, Hank's Liquors, has been at the location for many years. Some local residents even went so far as to describe the shop as "an institution."
The fire continued to burn late into the evening with the extensive damage making the building a total loss. Firefighters remained on the scene to investigate a possible cause for the blaze.
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