Fires in downtown Bakersfield claimed two businesses, and damaged at least four on Saturday.
Officials with the Bakersfield Fire department say they responded to the first fire that broke out on Saturday just after 2 a.m. near the corner of Chester Ave and 20th street. Here flames engulfed the building for nearly two hours. While the fire originated from Pallets for days, it quickly spread to Tina Maries Café. Both businesses were deemed a total loss.
Battalion Chief Mike Lencioni with the Bakersfield Fire Department, says crews stayed on scene for hours and walked through the building multiple times, where there were no sign of flames. However within 15 minutes of leaving, reports came in of smoke in the area. When crews arrived, they were met with a second fire in the adjacent building, which is why Lencioni says the fires are suspicious.
Lencioni says there were also early reports of subjects running from the area of the fire. This is being investigated and we will have updates as they become available.
And one of the business owners affected by these fires remains in shock, as she loses everything. Tina Brown with Tina Marie’s Café says,“thank you for the outpouring of love from the community. I really appreciate it, we all appreciate it. We’re stronger together and we will get through this. Thank you.”
Maggie’s Sunrise Cafe is trying to help Tina get back on her feet. They have a collection box at both their locations to raise funds for the damage. A gofundme account has also been set up: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gods-miracle-for-tina-maries-cafe-and-employees