SLIDESHOW: Fire damage at studio
SACRAMENTO - Sacramento fire investigators are trying to determine the cause of a 3-alarm apartment fire Thursday that damaged three apartment units and the music studio and equipment owned by the Sacramento band, Tesla.
According to Sacramento City Fire Captain Jon Burgess, the fire started in the back area of a four-unit apartment complex on 27th Street around 1:45 a.m.
At the time of the fire, Burgess said there were people inside three of the units. The residents made it out of the building without any injuries and the American Red Cross is helping them find a place to stay, according to Burgess.
"I spoke to some residents and they said they heard some popping sounds before seeing the fire," Burgess said.
The fire spread to a neighboring building which is home to J Street Production, a music studio owned by the band Tesla.
Burgess said the studio's attic and ground floor suffered major water damage -- including much of the recording equipment.
"I don't know how much damage happened to any of that stuff," said Marcos Bustos, a former band technician. "We won't know until it's actually gone through and fired up, but nobody's going to do that until it's completely dry."
During the fire, crews helped salvage guitars, platinum plaques and other rock memorabilia. They also saved computers and disk drives that held Telsa's current music recordings.
"All the data and all the music that they have on the hard drives can be salvaged," said Leo Grover of Pinnacle Restoration. Grover was called in to assess the equipment damage.
Grover said most of the larger pieces of equipment on the upper floor, including sound mixers, needs to replaced.
"It's inside all the components," he said, pointing to water and condensation inside level meters.
Mike Brown with J Street Production said he notified the band's bassist and founding member Brian Wheat who was in New York City mastering recordings. Wheat is flying home to inspect the damage, according to Brown.
"It's absolutely amazing to have them (firefighters) come out and contain these fires," Brown said. "The blazes as big as they were and to be so cordial to help the neighbors, family and friends put out by it. They also helped get all this equipment and memorabilia and then lay it out outside. Some even taking time to dry some of this stuff."
Brown says the band is on tour this weekend in Michigan.