The investigation into Monday’s early morning fire in downtown El Centro has begun.

El Centro firefighters were called out at about 3:30 a.m. Monday with a report of a building at 6th and Main Streets burning. A second and then third alarm were quickly issued for mutual aid from all other Imperial County fire departments. Firefighters aggressively attacked the flames leaping from the two-story building with four aerial ladders pouring water from above. The historic Rehkopf Building housed Brook’s Jewelry and Gifts for many years and currently is home to El Dorado Printers. Firefighters remained on the scene most of the day checking for hotspots.

El Centro Fire Chief Kenneth Herbert said that structural engineers would inspect the building to determine the safety of the structure. He also said that investigation into the cause of the fire was underway and would continue when access to the building was available. The Chief added  that the fire was contained to the original building but that other businesses had sustained smoke and water damage.

Traffic at the 6th and Main intersection was detoured around the area as the cleanup and investigation continued.