The Tubbs Fire destroyed the Hilton hotel, Fountaingrove Inn and Equus restaurant as well as numerous buildings higher up Fountaingrove Parkway in northeast Santa Rosa.
Despite the devastation, it’s amazing how many businesses and buildings emerged from the flames with minimal damage beyond disruption and already nearly a week without power and Internet. In some of these areas, cars in parking lots next to the buildings were rendered into twisted shells of ash and melted plastic.
All three of the big Fountaingrove Center buildings, located just across from the demolished Hilton hotel, were virtually untouched, with not even windows breached by the intense heat.
A Kaiser medical building also uphill from the Hilton had two patio umbrellas melted on its walkway, with landscaping charred all the way to the building, but otherwise the building came through.
The offices of Peyman Hedayati and Fountaingrove Oral Surgery, along with dentist Andrew McCormick, made it through the blaze. Even a Mercedes sitting outside in a carport appeared fine, though shrubbery in the parking lot was scorched. At the building’s corner, next to Fountaingrove Parkway, was an abandoned fire hose in the gutter hooked still to a hydrant.
Medtronic’s campus on Unocal Place to the north side of Fountaingrove Parkway appeared scorched but OK. Just down the road, a Moss Adams building was intact. The building that houses O’Brien Watters & Davis law firm had its trees burned and flames come nearly to the structure, but it survived.
The headquarters building of accounting firm Pisenti & Brinker made it through the fire.
Across Mendocino Ave. to the west where the fire raced after its brutal run through Fountaingrove, a Kohl's store on Airway Drive just north of the Kmart store that was obliterated did not burn.
Wildfire, while packing intense heat and destructive potential, picks its fuel, both homes and businesses, with a caprice that baffles in its apparent randomness.
James Dunn covers technology, biotech, law, the food industry, and banking and finance. Reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-521-4257
More coverage of the 2017 North Bay fires: nbbj.news/2017fires