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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Fire strikes in Lost Barrio

    Firefighters battle a 3-alarm blaze at Aqui Esta, located at 228 S. Park Ave. in Tucsons Lost Barrio. Below left, after getting the blaze under control, a firefighter emerges from the burnt interior.
    Firefighters battle a 3-alarm blaze at Aqui Esta, located at 228 S. Park Ave. in Tucson’s Lost Barrio. Below left, after getting the blaze under control, a firefighter emerges from the burnt interior.

    A plume of smoke visible from the UA campus late Tuesday afternoon was the result of a three-alarm fire at a furniture store located near South Park Avenue and East Broadway Boulevard.

    The fire, reported at 5:16 p.m., heavily damaged Aqui Esta, 228 S. Park Ave., a furniture store in Tucson’s Lost Barrio district.

    It was declared contained at 6:09 p.m., according to Tucson Fire Department Public Information Officer Trish Tracy.

    Employees at the family-owned furniture store were preparing to close for the day when they saw smoke pouring from a wall in the store, according to owner Marina Mendivil.

    “”My mother, Martha, was still inside taking care of clients,”” Mendivil said. “”I had to go back in and tell them that they needed to leave the building.””

    There were two customers and four employees in the store when the fire broke out, Mendivil said, expressing concern about the condition of the store shortly after the fire was extinguished.

    “”This is our way of living,”” Mendivil said. “”We don’t know if everything is – we haven’t been able to go inside yet.””

    Fire department officials said the reason the fire spread so quickly was because the building did not have the necessary fire precautions.

    “”(This) shows the importance of having a sprinkler system in your building. There was a fire this morning at Park (Place) Mall that was completely contained in the unit,”” Tracy said. “”But older buildings often don’t have sprinklers.””

    Clint Rusing, a physiology senior, said he lives near the area where the fire is located and could see “”big black plumes of smoke”” coming from the building.

    “”You started seeing flames coming out of the roof and smoke got pretty black and thick,”” Rusing said.

    At the peak of the fire response, 24 fire units and 60 to 70 fire fighters responded to the scene, Tracy said.

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