Officials suspect someone might have been inside a detached garage when it caught fire in downtown Pasco on Thursday afternoon, but no one was hurt.
The fire started at 1:20 p.m. in the cinder block building at 104 S. Tacoma Ave.
Aureliano Preciado, co-owner of the La Tropicana nightclub next door, was awaiting a beer delivery when he saw smoke. He said it looked like the flames were touching his building.
Preciado said he was thankful he had the delivery scheduled, since otherwise there wouldn't have been anyone at the nightclub.
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Preciado's son, Manuel Preciado, co-owner of La Tropicana, said he was helping set up for a dance when he smelled smoke and burning rubber.
Firefighters already were arriving when they went to look for the fire. Manuel Preciado said he was worried about the fire spreading to their building, which only was about 2 feet from the burning garage.
But La Tropicana appeared undamaged.
"I'm lucky," Aureliano Preciado said.
Firefighters had to cut through a fence to get to the fire from the ground and also climbed onto the roof of La Tropicana to extinguish the flames.
The fire was out within 15 minutes of the firefighters' arrival, said Lt. Craig Patterson, Pasco Fire Department medical officer.
The roof of the 50-foot square cinder block building collapsed, Patterson said.
The cause still was under investigation late Thursday, he said.
Aureliano Preciado said he thinks the detached garage was being used as a mechanical shop.
A husk of a car remained inside the garage after the fire was extinguished. There also were about 12 vehicles and a delivery truck parked in a fenced yard next to the garage.
The 6,480-square-foot warehouse at 104 S. Tacoma appeared vacant and had a for-lease sign on the exterior.
Franklin County property records show the owner as Marco Antonio Cardenas, and value the entire property at $66,200.
Kennewick and Richland fire departments and Franklin Fire District 3; Walla Walla Fire District 5 assisted with the fire.