More than 30 firefighters responded to a structure fire that threatened a historic Vallejo, Calif. home and claimed another in the early morning hours of June 4, 2024.

The blaze destroyed what remained of 717 Alameda Street, which had been neglected since it previously burned two years ago, neighbors said. Firefighters had been called out to the vacant property several times in recent months, but found only small cooking or warming fires apparently set by people who had been sheltering inside, according to Vallejo Fire Department spokesperson Kevin Brown. The department boarded up the building in an attempt to keep people from entering.

A historic home next door also caught fire, but fire crews managed to extinguish the flames before they could destroy the structure.

A white box truck parked on the street in front of a burning building at night. Flames and smoke are rising high into the sky from the roof of the building.

A Vallejo firefighter aims a water cannon at 721 Alameda Street as a fire that started next door threatens the historic structure.

A firefighter stands atop a fire truck, spraying water onto a large building engulfed in flames and thick smoke at night. The scene is illuminated by the red and orange glow of the fire.

A Vallejo firefighter rushes to check a coupling as his colleagues struggle to get the fire under control.

A firefighter runs across a wet street at night, illuminated by the lights from fire trucks and emergency vehicles in the background.

Firefighters from across Vallejo responded to the blaze. They were joined by mutual aid from Crockett, Benicia, American Canyon, and Fairfield, according to Brown.

A firefighter points towards a burning building, standing on a sidewalk in front of a multi-story house at night. Flames and smoke are visible in the background.

Just three days before the devastating fire at 717 Alameda Street, neighbors reported seeing smoke coming from the vacant building. Firefighters put it out and tried to block entry to the home with plywood.

A close-up of the top floor of a building heavily engulfed in flames, with smoke billowing out into the night sky.

Several firefighters told this newsroom that they could see the glowing plume as they rushed to help from fire stations across the city.

A firefighter with a "Vallejo" emblem on the helmet looks fatigued and determined while standing near a burning building at night.

A Vallejo firefighter sprays water on the building at 717 Alameda Street.

A firefighter uses a hose to spray water into a burning building, silhouetted against the flames inside the structure.

A Benicia firefighter also tries to extinguish the flames.

A firefighter uses a hose to spray water into a burning building, silhouetted against the flames inside the structure.

“This was certainly one of our larger fires of the year,” said Brown, the Vallejo Fire Department spokesperson. 

A firefighter in full gear, including an oxygen tank, walks toward a building engulfed in flames, with thick smoke and dark surroundings.

Fire Captain Jason Goodner directs fire suppression efforts on the south side of 717 Alameda Street.

A firefighter is seen in profile, standing in front of a building while smoke and red light from the fire create an eerie glow around them at night.

717 Alameda Street was reduced to charred rubble.

A firefighter sprays water into a dark, burned-out building with charred walls, creating a cloud of steam and smoke.

But fire crews managed to save the historic Swiss chalet Craftsman home at 721 Alameda Street, which caught fire amid the conflagration next door.

Two firefighters are positioned on the roof of a building, directing water onto the flames. A fire truck with an extended ladder is also visible, along with heavy smoke in the night sky.

“If it wasn’t for them, I would be totally out of a house,” Oscar Cabrera, who escaped with his wife, five children, and their four pets, said of fire personnel.

A group of firefighters gather on the street, taking a break after battling the fire. Some are seated on the curb, others stand around in their gear, while emergency lights flash in the background.

Read more: Fire displaces family of seven from historic Vallejo home

Geoffrey King is the executive editor of Open Vallejo. Prior to founding Open Vallejo, Geoffrey worked as an attorney and journalist focused on free expression, open government, press freedom and privacy. He is a proud native of Vallejo, California.