blaze in downtown Petaluma on Thursday afternoon inconvenienced motorists
and will shut down a popular eatery until further notice.
But the fire could have been disastrous, Fire Chief Larry Anderson told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
Central Market, a gourmet restaurant featuring locally-sourced foods, isn't expected to reopen anytime soon, the report said.
The fire was first reported at 3:56 p.m. and was contained by 4:42 p.m., the report said. The fire originated in an attic and forced everyone to clear out of the historic 1918 Maclay Building.
A fire in that building at night might not have been reported in time to prevent the blaze from damaging other structures in a part of the city critical to the city's economic vitality and civic identity.
“This was a good stop,” Anderson told the Press Democrat. “If this had happened late at night, it would have been a big, big deal.”
The blazed caused structural damage estimated at $50,000 and about $20,000 in interior damage, Battalion Chief Jeff Holden told the Press Democrat.
Firefighters from Wilmar, Gold Ridge, Rohnert Park, Rancho Adobe, San Antonio, Cal Fire and Two Rock assisted the Petaluma Fire Department, the report said.