Fire damages Salvation Army building, spreads into field in Perris

A fire that erupted on Tuesday afternoon adjacent to a Salvation Army facility in Perris damaged the building and spread into a field alongside Interstate 215, burning several acres before crews began making headway.

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The three-alarm blaze was reported at 3:35 p.m. next to the SalvationArmy & Family Store at 24201 Orange Ave.

There were no reports of injuries, and the fire was contained by 9 p.m.

According to the Riverside County Fire Department.   The department dispatched two dozen engine crews and two truckcompanies that encountered flames devouring a large debris pile, extending tothe Salvation Army building, part of which was reportedly closed, though staffwere at the site.   The fire fully engulfed the building within an hour, and damage isestimated at about $3.5 million, the Riverside County Fire Department reported.  

The flames made a run into a field, moving quickly toward the freeway,which was blanketed in smoke, according to the California Highway Patrol.

No traffic lanes were closed, but visibility was drastically reduced, and unitsran traffic breaks on both the north- and southbound sides.  

A SigAlert was issued at 4:30 p.m. because of the conditions.  

Rail lines in the vicinity of the freeway were closed shortly before 5p.m. because of hazards to trains, including the Metrolink commuter varietythat operate throughout the day.  

Several spot fires broke out, keeping firefighters on the move. Helpwas requested from other agencies, and crews from the Corona, Ontario and Riverside fire departments converged on the area, either to battle thestructure fire or the wildland blaze.  

CHP officers shut down the intersection of Harvill and Orange avenuesfor public safety.  

The cause of the fire was not known.