Major Fire Demolishes Former Sunkist Plant

The fire on Tuesday evening pushed into Wednesday morning.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

March 7, 2024

1 Min Read
Fire at former Sunkist lemon plant
Schools were closed, and road and rail traffic were halted in the area.Image courtesy of siculodoc / iStock via Getty Images

A huge fire was first reported just before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at the former Sunkist packing plant in Oxnard, CA.

The blaze led to school and road closures in the area, as well as a halt to railways.

A multi-agency response included personnel from the Oxnard Fire Department, the Ventura County Fire Department, Ventura City Fire, and the naval base’s Federal Fire Ventura County. A whopping 19 fire engine companies and four ladder trucks tended to the incident, according to city officials.

Due to the dangerous conditions within the building, firefighters maintained a defensive position around the plant to extinguish the flames, which did not spread beyond the property. As of 10 a.m. on March 6, fire department personnel remained onsite to put out the fire’s remaining embers. The building is considered a total loss.

"We had extensive ember cast into the neighborhoods, so we had a lot of exposure problems due to the size of the fire," Battalion Chief John Cecena said. "We were able to handle that."

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and is anticipated to take some time due to the massive size. As of Wednesday morning, there were no reported deaths or injuries as a result of the fire. This is subject to change, said city officials in a press release.

The city’s Public Works department is cleaning up debris from the streets impacted by the fire.

The former lemon packing plant was a landmark, hailing from the 1950s when it was surrounded by lemon groves.

It remains unclear how the fire began, but the city described it as "one of the largest fires in Oxnard's recent history."

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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