A stubborn four-alarm fire at a commercial building in Irvine destroyed the offices of a nonprofit that has helped more than 105,000 job seekers dress for success since 1990.
Firefighters were dispatched at 5:50 a.m. Sunday to the 1800 block of Kettering Street, the Orange County Fire Authority reported.
No injuries were reported.
“We have gained the upper hand on the fire. There was a very high volume of fire,” OCFA Capt. Tony Bommarito told KTLA.
Firefighters had the blaze under control at 8:17 a.m., the OCFA said.
Bommarito said it would be hours before investigators would be able to enter the building to try to determine what caused the fire.
He said flights were not affected at nearby John Wayne Airport despite the heavy smoke.
Working Wardrobes has been based in the 22,000 sq. foot building since 2016, spokesman Devon Poer said. “Everything has been destroyed.”
The destruction included a large warehouse filled with racks, bins and boxes with thousands of jackets, pants, shirts, blouses, ties, shoes, jewelry and accessories, Poer said. The organization also lost its career center where clients could access computers to research and apply for jobs on line, training rooms and the corporate office.
“We are determined to work with our employees, volunteers and the Orange County community to rebuild and continue to fulfill our purpose of helping men, women, young adults and veterans overcome difficult challenges so they can achieve the dignity of work,” he said.
Financial donations can be made at workingwardrobes.org/donate-money/ and people who want to help set up temporary quarters can contact KathiS@workingwardrobes.org or call 714-210-2460.
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