Construction work on a new Turlock gym sparked a blaze that caused damage to the structure’s roof and prompted a temporary evacuation of nearby tenants.
The fire at the In Shape gym was reported around 6:30 p.m. Monday by several people driving on Highway 99 who saw flames coming from the rooftop of the 2821 Countryside Dr. building.
Turlock City Fire Department fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire within 20 minutes but remained on scene for about an hour and a half for the investigation and to make sure the fire would not re-ignite.
The fire was caused by a spark from a welding torch, according to the fire department. A welder had been working on the interior of the building in the area where the fire originated about an hour prior to the first flames being spotted.
The damage caused by the fire was estimated at $5,000.
A total of four fire engines and 13 fire fighters responded to the fire. During the initial response the guests and employees at the Kohl’s store next door were asked to vacate the area as a precaution.
The building previously housed Circuit City and is undergoing renovations.