At around 8 p.m. on July 1, flames rose from the abandoned former Great Brakes warehouse, located at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and B Street.
The smell of burning rubber and the sight of dirty gray clouds of smoke hung over the East Village like a BBQ gone wrong. Worried local residents took to the streets in search of the source. Emergency services were on the scene quickly (as were local news crews) and fire officers immediately declared it a two-alarm situation, summoning approximately 20 fire trucks to the blaze.
The smoke could be seen as far away as Petco Park, where the Padres were playing. By 9 p.m., the rescue workers had the situation under control as concerned passersby looked on and a police helicopter circled overhead.
A firefighter was taken to hospital with a burnt ear. Damage was estimated at $1.5 million. Police say they are treating the fire as suspicious, as the 911 call they received about the incident stated that a man was seen running from the scene as the fire began.