Harris Building Fire Update

An Update on the Fire at the former Harris Building
Posted on Jul 09, 2024

City Update on the Harris Building Fire


On Monday afternoon, a fire was reported at the former Harris Department Store Building, located on E Street between 2nd Street and Court Street.

According to the San Bernardino County Fire District, the bulk of the fire originated from and was contained on the fourth floor of the building in an area that previously served as office space for the company. Pervasive vandalism contributed to difficulties in accessing areas of fire involvement.  As a final challenge, the concrete roof and masonry building construction created oven-like conditions for crews with temperatures on the fire floor ranging from 180 to several hundred degrees while the outside temperature hovered at the century mark.  

Over the course of the fire, several transient occupants were located and successfully evacuated from the structure.  There were no fatalities, and no one reported any injuries.  Two firefighters were treated at the scene, and two were transported to local hospitals for evaluation of minor injuries.

The property has been boarded up and secured by City Code Enforcement. The City of San Bernardino’s building official has preliminarily issued a red tag due to health and safety concerns and will be on site later this week to further inspect and evaluate the extent of the damage.

The building’s current owner, who is based in Spain, has been notified of the incident.

The City of San Bernardino has been in negotiations to acquire the building. The fire is not expected to affect the acquisition, which is expected to be finalized within the next 7-10 days.

When the City assumes ownership of the building, it intends to take additional steps to secure the building, which will include extending the current security at the Mall site and parking structure to include the Harris Building, as well as fortifying the building using enhanced methods and materials.

Thank you to the hard work by the San Bernardino County Firefighters and their partners from Riverside City, Rialto, Colton, Highland and Redlands who responded to the call, ensuring that everyone was safe, and extinguished the fire.


Harris Building Fire Photo3    Harris Building Fire Photo

Photos courtesy of San Bernardino County Fire