Fire crews battle blaze in downtown Atascadero

March 7, 2009


Fire crews continue to monitor the smoldering remains of an older commercial building on El Camino Real in Atascadero near the Carlton Hotel.

Witnesses reported the fire at around 10 p.m. Saturday. When firefighters arrived at the North County Christian School thrift store the building was engulfed in flames. The roof had collapsed into the building hampering firefighters’ efforts to fully extinguish the smoldering rubble, according to an Atascadero Firefighter.

The cause of the blaze is unknown at this time.


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Member Opinions:

By: GrayGranny on 3/11/09

This fire has devastated so many things besides the structure. My family and I shopped at the thrift store and bought many, many things at reasonable prices–we now do not have this option available to us. All the donations and merchandise were lost in the fire which equals money lost. North County Christian School has lost current and future revenue which hurts the school and students. And all the employees of the thrift store are now unemployed.

Atascadero has been and will be affected by this fire for some time. To all those who have been touched by this fire, I send my prayers to each and everyone of you.

By: alittlebirdtoldme on 3/10/09

I'm glad the little Antique Store is standing. Thank you for the news! Hopefully they didn't have a lot of smoke or water damage, and some things can be salvaged.

There is a good sized commercial building up for rent in the Food 4 Less Plaza. It has been vacant for several years. I wonder if it would be a good spot for the Thrift Store to relocate to? I know it's next to Goodwill, but I would think that would be a plus for both of them, not a negative.

Goodwill might see it different.

I don't have cash, but I have way too much stuff. I would like to pledge a large donation of sell-able items to get them started again.

By: Me on 3/9/09

The antique store is still standing, but it was attached to the building that burned. I don't know if it got any damage or not.

By: bluemule on 3/9/09

The Lord works in mysterious ways!

By: paperboy on 3/9/09

Atascadero has a history of spectacular blazes in its downtown core. Back in the late 1980s the old bowling alley on El Camino Real burned to the ground shortly after a Chinese restaurant on the next block up went up in smoke.

By: NorthCountyGuy on 3/8/09

I hope the cause of the fire can be determined. These fires don't ignite by themselves. We should thank the firefighters who put their lives on the line.

By: Truthbeknown on 3/7/09

NorthCountyGuy, I'm not sure this fire is related to any other recent incidents. That building was very old and in pretty poor shape, as alitlebirdtoldme mentioned. I'm actually surprised it never went sooner, especially with all the flammable material stored inside and in the rear of the building.

I will also miss the thrift store, for the same reasons mentioned. Lots of nice folks and really reasonable prices. Hopefully not too many jobs will be displaced.

I believe the store is operated by ABC church, so I know the loss of income will hurt them. I look forward though to perhaps a brand new store to replace the old one!

By: alittlebirdtoldme on 3/7/09

It's so sad :-( I enjoyed shopping there. The employees were all very nice. They were much more affordable than Goodwill. Especially for books. Things were kept neat and tidy even though the building was dark, cavernous and in need of much repair. The roof leaked a lot.

I'm wondering if anyone knows if the little Antique store attached to the south end of the building is okay? The gal who owns it had done such a nice job with it.

I think many of the people who worked in the thrift store were volunteers, so hopefully there won't be too many out of work.

I feel badly also for the folks who had stuff on consignment in the front portion.

Such a shame.

By: NorthCountyGuy on 3/7/09

Could the fire destroying a CHRISTIAN Thrift

Store in Atascadero be related to the recent arson fire destroying a CHRISTIAN church bus at Heritage Ranch? Not to mention the massive vandalism of several CHRISTIAN churches in and around SLO-town. IMO, the incompetent, Ol'Boy nepotism of the Atascadero Police Dept, the Paso Robles Police Dept and the SLO County Grand Jury couldn't find a pile of manure 5 miles high with the wind blowing in their faces.