Fire triggers sprinklers in Riverside PetSmart, pets evacuated
By Gail Wesson
A fire that started outside a PetSmart singed an exterior wall and extended into an interior attic area in Riverside at about 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, according to Riverside Fire Battalion Chief Todd Gooch.
That triggered the pet store building’s fire sprinklers and smoke also accumulated inside the business in the 2800 block of Campus Parkway, west of Day Street.
The fire cause is under investigation but it started near a homeless encampment to the rear of the structure, he said. Firefighters found debris up against the building.
The pet store manager had been working with Riverside police and code enforcement on a plan to disassemble the encampment Tuesday. But that was postponed because code officers were diverted to address issues elsewhere in the city, Gooch learned.
There was smoke inside the store and some water damage from fire sprinklers. Repairs must be completed before the store may reopen
Firefighters evacuated four dogs, a dozen cats, two hamsters, two guinea pigs and 25 birds that store personnel took elsewhere for shelter, Gooch said. None were hurt.