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Earthquake Sparks Damaging Fires, Crumbles Historic Downtown Napa Buildings

NAPA (CBS SF) -- Residents and business owners in Napa began to assess the damage from Sunday morning's 6.0-magnitude quake and one liquor store owner reported an estimated $100,000 in losses.

Stever Steve Rodrigues, 44, is the owner of 17-year-old Val's Liquors at 1531 Third Street in Napa.


He says that after the 3:20 a.m. quake, the liquor was "flowing out the front door," and it also flowed under a wall in the front of the store making it difficult to enter the business.

"You couldn't walk in here," Rodrigues said.

Immediately after the quake, Rodrigues went home to call friends

for help, then came back to the store at 4:30 a.m. and filled two garbage cans full of glass.

He and three friends are working to reopen the store, but he won't be open for business Monday, he said.

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake at 3:20 a.m. caused significant damage to several historic brick buildings in the city.

"Brick facades have peeled off and crushed a car," said Todd Smoot of KCBS. "This is an extremely volatile and dangerous situation."

Smoot said the damage was so extensive that much of the downtown area would likely be closed to the public for quite some time as damage was assessed.

City officials were already red-tagging structures as uninhabitable Sunday morning.

Napa City Councilmember Peter Mott reports the library and the historic Chinese laundry building suffered significant damage, and bricks and glass are scattered across downtown sidewalks on Second and Third Streets.

A number of Napa area residents report that their chimneys have peeled off of their homes.

"This reminds me of 1989, it's crazy out here," a Napa resident named Hector told KCBS.

Residents of the Napa Valley Mobile Home Park, off Orchard Avenue, were evacuated following fires in several units. At least four homes were destroyed,several others were otherwise damaged.

Several structures throughout the area were knocked off of their foundations. Water mains in residential areas are broken, but it's not clear how bad the damage from flooding is.

Rodrigues lives in the north Linda Vista area of Napa, where he says his house and the houses of his neighbors were all badly damaged.

A 200-gallon reef fish tank collapsed and flooded his home, he said.

First responders say 911 has been overwhelmed by calls in the aftermath of the quake. Officials are asking people to refrain from calling the hotline to report road damage if crews are already on the scene.

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