East Bay News

4-alarm fire damages 9 businesses in Union City

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
mall fire in Union City Union City fire

A fast-moving fire caused major damage at the Alvarado Place Shopping Center on Alvarado Boulevard in Union City. The damage has left several small business owners wondering how they'll ever recover.

A tangle of debris now fills the spaces where family dreams once lived.

The small businesses were like children to their owners. Bombay Pizza was only ten months old.

"We were really excited about the business; my husband put in 100 percent and last night was a horrible night," Kiran Gill said.

Pho Vina Restaurant's grand opening was just one week ago.

"This is our first business; everybody is in here, the whole family," Phuong Le said.

The four-alarm fire took an hour and a half to contain.

Michael Bustamante was working late in his brand new computer repair shop when he smelled smoke just before 1 a.m.

"I went in the back to check if something was going on there; then I came out and saw smoke on ceiling," Bustamante said.

He called 911.

When firefighters arrived they quickly determined the fire was in the attic. They cut holes in the roof to get to it, but that also fed the fire that was hungry for oxygen. Firefighters were on the roof and inside the building when the roof collapsed, but none of them were on top of or below the section that came down.

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union city, fire, east bay news, heather ishimaru
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