Riverside citrus packing house destroyed by fire

A citrus packing house near downtown Riverside, that was nearly a century old, has gone up in flames Thursday morning, April 22. The Riverside Navel Growers/McDermont/Sunkist Packing House was one of a group of buildings just east of the 91 Freeway that were in the early days of the city’s citrus industry.


On Thursday morning, a blaze destroyed the entire building. Riverside Fire Chief Michael Moore said the cause of the fire was undetermined. Ian Davidson, who owns the neighboring Iron Works building, said he had told firefighters training in the area only the day before that it was a question of ‘when, not if’, the Navel Growers building would burn because of homeless people breaking in and setting fires to keep warm and to cook.

As reported on, the fire broke out before just 7 a.m. Firefighters, with a direct line of sight on the building as they left the University Avenue fire headquarters, had the blaze under control by 9:30 a.m.

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