The blaze in the 4300 block of Palm Avenue erupted for unknown reasons shortly before 6 p.m., according to Heartland Fire & Rescue.
“It’s definitely suspicious,” said Ted Kakuris with the Heartland Fire Rescue. Kakuris said they’re looking to see if it was started by a homeless person.
There were no reports of injuries, but neighbors say the building was broken into last weekend. They believe homeless people were seeking shelter inside the building.
Firefighters say the building was scheduled to be torn down on Monday, and as a result the gas had been shut off and the power to the building was cut.
Nearby residents like Holly Kennedy worried the flames would jump onto the hillside and strike neighboring homes. Fire investigators believe the fire was started in the back of the building, but are still trying to determine how it started.