Reporting Derek Shore
FAIRFIELD (CBS13) – The popular Pepperbelly’s Comedy Club was reduced to rubble Friday night as fire tore through the historic building in Fairfield.
Investigators sifted through the debris Saturday, searching for a cause to the five-alarm fire that took almost seven hours to put down.
“The flames were astronomical,” said one witness.
Now, just a day later, downtown Fairfield’s popular venue is a burnt shell.
“Looks pretty charred,” one man said.
The flames took more than 100 firefighters from around Solano County to douse, but it was a total loss.
“It is a landmark. It was the theater for many years before it became Pepperbelly’s,” resident Jan Aldrich said.
The venue, which mainly featured comedians, gave Solano County residents a place to go.
“There’s not much here in Fairfield for them,” said one woman.
Meanwhile, crews kept Texas Street closed Saturday, trying to secure what’s left of the building to remove the risk of falling debris. Crews can’t get to work in figuring out how it started, yet.
“We cannot go inside until we have the structural engineer clear us to go inside,” a Cal Fire spokesperson said.
The only silver lining is coming for other business owners like Ali Karouni. His Mediterranean market, like all the other attached businesses, was luckily saved.
“They protected all of these buildings, even when we had no damage, pretty much. They did a really, really good job,” said Karouni.
Firefighters say things could have turned out differently if it were not for the help from other departments. They even called in crews from Napa County.