Just after the official start of Black Friday, at 12:40am shoppers at the Pacific View Mall reported seeing active smoke pouring from the roof at Lowe’s Home Improvement store. Active alarms were ringing and employees had yet to start their shift, thus the building was empty at the time of the alarm. First arriving firefighters made access into and on top of the building.
As firefighters made access into the building, the air was clear of smoke. Crews investigated the interior while the truck company and an additional engine company made access to the top of the building via the aerial ladder. Crews on the roof encountered a fully involved heating and air conditioning unit. Flames erupted from the unit, however the roofing material had not completely become involved in fire. The fire was knocked down in approximately 13 minutes keeping the fire contained to the forced air ventilation unit and surrounding area. A thorough inspection made sure that the fire did not spread beyond the ventilation system into the roof structure.
Initial damage estimates were $20K. The building manager arrived on scene and worked with Ventura Fire’s Prevention specialist to ensure a smooth opening for the business in the morning. There are no expected impacts beyond needed repairs to the unit. The building was left in the care of Lowe’s management.