Breaking the otherwise wild and noisy routine in the sketchy Zona Norte section of Tijuana on Saturday afternoon, a fleet of vehicles from the Tijuana Bomberos (fire department) arrived with sirens blazing, accompanied by police escorts, to an unoccupied business structure on Avenida Constitución between Callejon Coahuila and Baja California. Someone called it in, reporting smoke coming from within the building, although no smoke was evident by the time the firefighters arrived.
A crowd gathered and the area was quickly cordoned off by police officers while the bomberos went about their work. Unable to fully enter the dwelling from the front entrance, firefighters instead broke into the rear of the building by accessing a window on the side of the building. A ladder truck, a tanker, and four other vehicles from the fire department attended to the report, along with a half-dozen police vehicles that handled automobile and pedestrian traffic.
Upon arriving, a firehose was attached to the tanker and water pressure was established, but after 45 minutes the hose was depressurized and put away, with firemen having handled the issue inside of the building without requiring water.
Reportedly, an electrical short had led to some smoldering materials that were consequently cast out of the building by firefighters.
No one was injured and damage was minimal to the building, which has housed various retail businesses over the past few years but is currently vacant.
Within an hour, Zona Norte — also known as Zona de Tolerancia, or Tolerance Zone, an approximate four-block area in Tijuana close to the border where prostitution, gambling, drinking after hours, and other normally nefarious activities are permitted with ancillary yet limited incursion from law enforcement — returned to whatever shenanigans usually occur on Saturday nights.