A fire, first reported at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, destroyed the facility and contents of Clennin Meats, leaving many deer hunters without their usual processer. Monday morning, owner Jim Gerlach said plans are being made to be back in operation in time for the deer harvest next year.
Fire fighters of California Rural Fire Protection District were the immediate responders to the fire with three fire engines and two tankers, but the size and intensity of the fire eventually required tankers from Jamestown Rural Fire Protection District and Tipton Fire Department while a Mid-Mo Ambulance crew stood by. It was reported the Fire Marshal believes the the fire was electrical in origin.
Ashes and charred chunks of insulation, roofing and other indeterminate debris airborne because of the intense heat were scattered over a wide area.
The fire fighters, on the scene more than six hours, kept the fire from spreading but were unable to save any of the contents.
According to those on the scene, the building and contents were a total loss, including an estimated couple of hundred deer carcasses and processed meat.
Several deer hunters showed up on Saturday morning to pickup their packed deer, and in some cases, the antlered heads to mount, only to find devastation. Several hunters brought their harvested deer in to drop off, only to discover they had to find another processer for this season.
Included among the destroyed meat was more than 1,000 pounds of "Share the Harvest" meat.
Fire fighters were called out again about 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning after the smoldering embers re-ignited the fire. They were on the scene about an hour and a half for the second call.
See this weeks California Democrat for more photos and details.