I spotted a tall and narrow smoke plume to my west while heading home along the Ventura Freeway this evening. From the Calabasas grade, it appeared that the smoke might have been from somewhere along Las Virgenes, but, no, it was farther west. I continued a couple of more miles into Agoura, and it became apparent that a fairly significant fire was in progress. I had my camera with me, so I went into photo-journalist mode!
The smoke plume went straight up into the night sky, which was a relief. If Santa Ana winds were blowing, then this could be a large disaster. I exited at Chesebro, with the fire still to my west and a little north of the freeway. I first tried Canwood, along the freeway. I managed to get south of the fire, but cops were blocking access to the fire (at Derry Avenue), and the view here was poor. I went back to Chesebro and then west on Driver. After a half mile or less I turned south on Lewis Road, and found myself a little east of the fire. Plenty of locals were milling about here, but it was very dark and I couldn’t figure out how to get closer! I parked the car, grabbed my camera, and asked someone how I could get closer. I was directed to a nearby street (Medfield Street), which was closed and fenced off, but easy to access on foot. This was perfect! I walked west on Medfield no more than 100 yards and wound up with a couple dozen of other folks—-with a front-row view of the structure fire!
This closed street runs along a slope that is right behind (north of) a number of industrial-type structures that are lined up on the east side of Derry Avenue. The closest structure to Medfield was the one that was engulfed in flames, no more than 40 yards from myself and the onlookers. The heat of the flames was intense even where we were! A strange chain-saw-like sound was coming from the buildings, and I surmised that this was being made by fire fighters who were trying to contain the blaze. No one around seemed sure as to what type of business or businesses were involved here. The google satellite image of the complex shows a plain, large, storage-type or light manufacturing-type of facility here.
I shot some stills and video, and soon firefighters were along the back alley right next to the inferno. They sent a large amount of water onto the building, and the flames were quickly extinguished for the most part. After about ten minutes here, the show was over!