Tustin, CA Commercial Office Building Burns In Massive Fire

Not far from our office in Torrance, about 35 miles east in the city of Tustin, two firefighters were injured while battling a massive fire in a 50,000-square-foot commercial building on Tuesday.

The fire erupted inside the Maxim Healthcare building which is ironically the company I used to work for almost four years ago before I transitioned into the insurance world.

“All of a sudden, the glass just burst out of the first floor window, and flames immediately started coming out,” said a Maxim Healthcare employee. Firefighters had difficulties dealing with the massive 6-alarm fire. There were people inside the building at the time the fire was reported, however everybody got out okay.

The building was filled with years of important medical files and records. “All of our records were in there, either on the computer or on paper, so they’re up in flames,” said one Maxim employee. The flames were so intense that at one point, firefighters had to back out of the structure, and smoke could be seen for miles. About 100 firefighters responded, but an official cause of the fire has not been determined.

Here are pictures taken from the scene:

Large local fires like these always hit closer to home and make people realize it could happen to anyone, anytime. What if this happened to your building, your business, your office? Are you prepared?

7 tips for fire preparedness planning:*

  1. Establish an Evacuation Plan: Be sure everyone can get out quickly in an emergency. Designate primary and secondary evacuation routes and exits. Make sure these routes are clearly marked, well-lit, wide enough, and clear at all times. Train your employees in evacuation procedures and practice at least annually.
  2. Keep an updated list of telephone numbers, including emergency personnel, hospital, public health, utilities,insurance agent, and disaster relief agencies. Include contact names and telephone numbers for customers, suppliers, and distributors. Keep a copy off site
  3. Protect vital records critical to your business (e.g., financial statements, account information, blueprints, product lists, etc.) Select a safe that has been tested and listed by Underwriters Laboratories UL rates safes for resistance to fire and heat, as well as resistance to burglary tools and torches. Or, keep copies offsite if possible.
  4. Back up all critical electronic data and programs at least daily. Backing up these valuable assets can help a business recover from a data loss or hardware failure and get back online quickly.
  5. Secure backup copies of critical data and programs in a physical location separate from your premises to protect against damage from theft, fire, water and other physical hazards.
  6. Review your current property insurance policy with your insurance agent. Be sure that you understand the coverages (e.g., buildings, personal property, personal property of others, business income, etc.), deductibles, and limits of insurance. You will need to buy separate policies for flood or earthquake damage as they are excluded perils on property insurance policies.
  7. Keep insurance information and contact names and numbers in a safe place. This will expedite the claim process in the event of a loss.

*Other or additional measures may be required. Talk to a risk management professional

Never think it can’t happen to you! Be prepared.


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About Jimmy Kinmartin - Business Insurance & Risk Management

Jimmy is a California licensed Property & Casualty AND Accident & Health insurance agent working at the Olson Duncan Insurance brokerage based in Torrance and Irvine, CA. He grew up in Fullerton, CA and graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and currently lives in Tustin, CA. Have questions? Just ask! Or, follow Jim on Twitter at @JimKinmartin

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