The officers with the Tracy Police Department were looking for a group of young men who were reportedly trying to break into cars at a nearby business when they spotted smoke behind La Plaza Market at 3225 N. Tracy Blvd. They drove behind the shopping center, spotted flames coming from a storage area at the back of the store and called in the South San Joaquin County Fire Authority.
According to Battalion Chief Scott Arganbright, four Tracy fire engines and a ladder truck were employed to control and extinguish the fire. He said an automatic sprinkler system on the loading dock of the grocery store activated and helped contain the flames.
The fire began in an area where collapsed cardboard boxes were stored. Arganbright said firefighters in the store and on the roof confirmed that no flames made it inside. The store did have light smoke damage and fire crews had the power to the complex shut off while they were working to prevent water from creating a short or electrocuting someone.
Investigators are looking into whether the fire was intentionally set.