Empty building catches fire

The Grand Junction Fire Department sent firefighters from all five stations to a Sunday morning fire in an abandoned building at 202 S. Second St. The structure is considered a complete loss.

An early morning fire Sunday in an abandoned commercial building downtown drew crews from all five stations of the Grand Junction Fire Department, who knocked down the fire after it caused heavy damage to the building.

The two-story red brick building at 202 S. Second Street, within a block of Two Rivers Convention Center, had heavy smoke pouring from the second floor and roof when responders first arrived after 6:30 a.m.

Crews were able to attack the fire from the outside, dousing the second-floor fire fairly quickly before moving to the interior to finish extinguishing the blaze.

The building — with a distinctive lizard painted on its face visible from nearby Ute Avenue — was described by fire officials as abandoned and boarded up before the fire broke out.

Because of the building’s age and condition, investigators said damage was significant and it could be considered a complete loss. There were no injuries reported, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Signs of the fire were evident Sunday afternoon, with smoke damage visible from a number of the boarded-up windows and fire scene tape wrapped around a number of entrances. Charred fragments littered the lot surrounding the structure.

Vacant lots surround the building on both the south and east sides, and a mixed-use development immediately north across a narrow alleyway appeared not to have been damaged by the fire next door.


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