Flames shooting as high as 75 feet erupted at a wholesale nursery here Thursday night, the second fire at the nursery in a month and the fourth within 15 months.
Martha Werth, spokeswoman for the city Fire Department, said investigators "are treating it as a suspicious fire."
The two-alarm blaze at Miya Nursery, located on Garfield Avenue at Ward Street, was actually two fires, she said--one in an outdoor area where large numbers of plastic plant containers are stored and another in two adjoining storage sheds containing pesticides and fertilizers.
She said the first firefighters on the scene had to be decontaminated because of the chemicals but that the toxic substances did not threaten a nearby mobile home park. She said the chemical residues remained within the sheds, making evacuations unnecessary.
Flames shooting up from the highly volatile plastic containers scorched one tower supporting high-voltage transmission lines overhead. A spokesman for the Southern California Edison Co., owner of the power lines, said power was not interrupted, although the scorched tower may have to be replaced.
Werth said that the three previous fires at the nursery also broke out among the plastic plant containers. Thursday was the first time any other area of the nursery had been involved, she said.