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Fire damages abandoned building on Greenback Lane where transients were living

Metro Fire, Citrus Heights
An image from a video tweeted by Metro Fire on Wednesday shows crews responding to a fire at 7210 Greenback Ln., in Citrus Heights.

Sentinel staff report–
A heavy fire response including an air unit and dozens of fire personnel responded to the scene of a commercial fire at an abandoned building on Greenback Lane Wednesday morning.

Metro Fire Captain Chris Vestal said the fire started “in what looked like portions of a transient camp and then extended to the building itself.” He said the commercial building, located at 7210 Greenback Ln., was vacant, but fire crews found evidence that people were living inside, “but it should not have been occupied.”

Related: What’s with that run-down building on Greenback Lane?

Vestal said the initial call came in at 7:01 a.m., with firefighters quickly knocking down the blaze. He said the attic of the building had severe fire damage, with damage to the rest of the building still needing to be assessed.

“It’s hard to say because the building itself was not in great condition,” Vestal said, regarding a damage assessment.

An arson investigator found that the fire had started in an exterior “rubbish” area, but Vestal said the exact cause was unable to be determined. He said no evidence of fireworks was found and no injuries were reported.

The vacant building has been the target of code enforcement, as reported by The Sentinel in a story earlier this year.

Other local fires have also originated from homeless camps in the past, including two fires off Antelope Road in 2017. A fire at a vacant home on Sunrise Boulevard where transients were living also caused major damage in 2017, with the home later being demolished.

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