Transients Suspected of Causing Fire at Abandoned Centralia Garage

An abandoned garage structure on a property that includes a house that previously caught fire also burned down Monday morning, Riverside Fire Authority Chief Mike Kytta told The Chronicle.

Fire crews were still at the scene at about 10:30 Monday morning in the 1400 block of Alexander Street — at the end of the dead end road — keeping an eye on the burning structure to prevent it from spreading to nearby houses.

Alexander Street Fire
Firefighters and a Centralia police officer keep an eye on abandoned garage as it burns on Alexander Street Monday morning.

Natalie Johnson / njohnson@chronline.com

A house fire was previously reported at the same location on June 15, according to information from the RFA. While the home was destroyed at that time, garage and shop structures remained standing.

Monday’s fire is presumed to have been caused by transients living in the structure and lighting a fire to stay warm, Kytta said, but he noted it would be difficult to determine a more certain cause due to the damage to the remaining structures on the property.

Firefighters and responding police searched the area and did not find any fire victims or people who might have witnessed the fire’s start, he said.

“(There are) no eyewitnesses, no one to help us at this point,” he said.

Alexander Street Fire
Firefighters monitor the scene of a garage fire at the site of previous house fires at an abandoned property in Centralia Monday morning.

Natalie Johnson / njohnson@chronline.com