Worker arrested in Spreckels T&A storage yard fire




Spreckels >> The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Tanimura & Antle employee Friday night on suspicion of starting a large fire in the company’s cardboard and pallet storage yard.

Deputies responded to the fire, which broke out about 8 p.m, along with firefighters. They located a suspect and took him into custody. He was identified as Salvador Contreras.

Contreras was transported to the Monterey County Jail and booked on suspicion of arson. The investigation is continuing. Information on Contreras’ age, city of residence and bail was not available.

Saturday morning white smoke was still rising from the scene near the old Spreckels Sugar Co. silos., which Tanimura & Antle occupies. The yard is located just off Spreckels Boulevard.

A Monterey County Regional Fire District fire engine was the first to arrive at the scene of the blaze. A fire district news release said the fire was started in a 20-by-20-foot area of stacks of flat cardboard boxes and empty pallets. It quickly grew to an area larger than 10,000 square feet.

More firefighting equipment was requested from two other fire district stations, the Salinas Fire Department and the North County Fire District. T&A personnel who were working at the site before the fire broke out also assisted.

They used forklifts to move unburned pallets and carton bundles away from the fire to create a fire break, the news release said. This allowed firefighters to focus water on the burning material from both ground level…

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