Tracy Fire Division Chief Dave Bramell said workers were welding around a loading dock door in the back of the store, when they allegedly ignited parts of the padding and materials around the door frame at about 9:45 a.m.
The flames scorched the back of a 45-foot tractor-trailer that was parked in the doorway.
Bramell said firefighters responded to an original call of a vehicle fire.
He said that Walmart employees had put the fire out using handheld extinguishers, but there was still substantial smoke within the storage room.
An additional fire engine company was called to assist with ventilating the room by using industrial fans.
A city of Tracy building inspector was also called to make sure the workers performing the welding had permits, the work met code requirements and that the building was not structurally damaged, according to Bramell.
“It doesn’t appear there was any damage to the building, no structural damage,” he said.
Fire Captain James Haskell confirmed the workers did have the proper permits.
While firefighters checked to see if the fire may have spread into the building, all employees and customers were evacuated from the store, Bramell said.
Kaye Bennett, who was shopping at the time, said she was told to quickly evacuate.
“I was in the store shopping and they made an announcement on the loud speaker,” said Kaye Bennett. “Then employees came down the aisles and said, ‘You have to go outside there’s a fire. Leave the cart and go’.”
The store was reopened after approximately an hour and no injuries were reported, Bramell said. Damage was estimated at about $5,000.
Store officials were unavailable for comment.
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