EUREKA – A burnt out structure that’s crumbling in to Humboldt Bay will soon be demolished.
Eureka Ice and Cold Storage was located at 12 Waterfront Drive before it closed in 2008. The structure collapsed in multiple places and caught fire numerous times since then.
The most recent fire in June destroyed the remaining walls and left a debris pile that’s been fenced off for the last several weeks.
Because the property lies in the coastal zone, full demolition would typically require approval from the Coastal Commission.
Staff with the City of Eureka found that it poses an imminent threat to public health and safety. Now the city will issue an emergency coastal development permit so the owners can begin clean up as early as tomorrow.
“We applaud the owner of the property for wanting to clean up the site and made the process as simple as we could and really appreciate the measures put in place to avoid any contamination in to the Bay,” said Eureka Development Services Director Rob Holmlund.
Holmlund was referring to asbestos which was found in building materials. The hazardous substance can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Crews will take extra precautions to prevent pollution of Humboldt Bay and exposure by demolition crews. Some of those measures include an on-site decontamination area and collection of wastewater for proper disposal.
The work is expected to continue through the end of September. A long term plan for the site is still in the works. Eureka Development Services Director Rob Holmlund said, “the next steps will be up to the property owner, but we’re working with them to make sure that we see a great project on the waterfront. But first we need to clean it up.”