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Demolition begins on building ravaged by fire

ESCONDIDO — City crews began demolishing an abandoned meat packing facility this week after a four-alarm blaze scorched the former Talone Meat Co. building last week.

The inferno broke out before 9 a.m. on June 30 and took the efforts of more than 90 firefighters several hours to extinguish. Police blocked off access to the building, which sits on the intersection of Washington Street, Hale Avenue and Interstate 15.

One crew remained at the scene throughout the night in case embers sparked another blaze, Escondido Fire Chief Russ Knowles said last week.

The cause of the fire, meanwhile, is still under investigation. Calls to the EFD were not returned as of press time.

Knowles said last week investigators may have trouble determining a cause due to the danger of the collapsed building possibly making it too dangerous for fire officials to walk the grounds inside the building.

He said the building had no power, which may rule out an electrical fire.

Four transients were apparently inside the building before the fire broke out, Knowles added.

Rumors swirled about two transients being caught inside the building during the fire, but Knowles said another pair of transients accounted for the two people.

Knowles said it was possible other people were inside the building, although crews must sift through the rubble to locate any possible victims. However, he said fire officials were not alerted to any other individuals other than the four transients inside the building at the time of the fire.

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