California – Dozens of firefighters contained a four-alarm blaze that ripped through the Millbrae Community Center early Thursday.

Around 4:00 AM Thursday the Central County Fire Department of Millbrae received an alert regarding a burst in Millbrae Parks and Recreational Department building located at 477 Lincoln Circle, where residents gather for art classes, meetings, and an annual Easter egg hunt. The fire was upgraded to a fourth alarm, and numerous staff from the region were asked for help assisting the flames. The blaze spread to the attic, a tricky place to extinguish a fire, according to firefighters. According to Chief John Kammeyer, personnel went “into defensive mode” and worked hard to extinguish the fire.

Millbrae Community Center
Firefighters battle 4-alarm fire at the Millbrae Community Center, Millbrae, California. Credit: ABC7News
Finally, dozens of firefighters contained the blaze and were doing “mop up” work putting out spot fires in the building. According to Chief Kammeyer crews would likely be on the scene throughout the morning.

The fire left the Millbrae Parks and Recreational Department building in “total loss”, stated Kammeyer. Damages caused by the fire are estimated in $1 million.

Many neighbors deeply lamented the loss of the building. Shirley Solomon, for example, has lived across the street from the Recreational Department for two years.

Solomon claimed that the blaze represented a loss to the community since many people had classes or activities there. “There are just people there all the time,” she said.

Mercedes Segura has also been a neighbor for nine years. She claimed it was a huge loss, and that the building was Millbrae’s main point. She felt her heart sank when she walked outside her house and saw the blaze.

Kammeyer said there was a hypothesis that the fire was electrical, but stated it is still too soon to know for sure the causes of the blaze. “Given the time it started and the nature of the fire, we will be looking at suspicious causes,” he said.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s officials are going to help investigate the source of the fire once the area is secured. So far, no injuries have been reported.

The 400 block of Lincoln Circle is currently closed in all directions. Any students who were supposed to have activities or classes at Millbrae Recreation Center have to head to the Shae Center at Taylor Middle School 555 Richmond Drive.

Fires don’t rest

Just a month ago, a five-alarm fire damaged six buildings, nine businesses and injured two in Bernal Heights, a San Francisco neighborhood.

Forty people were evacuated for the 3300 block of Mission Street and 29th Street between San Jose Avenue and Mission Street.

In 2015, a two-alarm house fire in Millbrae left a person with burn injuries. The blaze started in the garage in the 1000 block of Helen Drive.

In 2013, a two-alarm fire that spread through the walls of a three-story apartment building damaged five units and sent one firefighter to the hospital.

Source: SF Gate