Some Santa Monicans headed for the Main Street Independence Day parade on Wednesday, July 4, were detoured off Pico Boulevard near 23rd Street because of what the Santa Monica Fire Department called a “full structure fire” that morning. SMFD Training Division Chief Walter Shirk said that the first call came in at 7:57 a.m. reporting the fire at 2204 1/2 Pico Boulevard, which is across the street from Virginia Avenue Park.
The six fire department units and battalion chief who responded saw a column of smoke as they approached the location and found an active fire upon their arrival. The fire was concentrated on the back walls, rear doors and roof areas of Local Motion Studios (2204 1/2 Pico) and Santa Monica Lock & Safe Co. (2208 Pico). There were some propane containers at the site, but none exploded.
The fire was extinguished in 12 to 15 minutes, said Chief Shirk, and the immediately adjoining businesses (Tel’s Barber Shop to the east and Westwood Appliance/Wilson Bros. to the west) were open for business on Thursday, July 5, he added. There were no injuries reported. It is not known whether anyone was present at the time the July 4 fire broke out. The cause of the fire had not been determined.
SMFD responded to the call with its standard complement of equipment and personnel for an active fire – three engine companies, a two-piece truck company (ladder truck and light/air vehicle), one rescue ambulance and a battalion chief – which amounts to 20 firefighters including the rescue personnel.