PAJARO — Heavy equipment rolled into action Wednesday morning to tear down a large portion of the former Val TV Radio VCR Service and Tamara’s Hair Salon at 8 Porter Drive.
A crew from Randazzo Enterprises used a pair of excavators and other equipment to start picking apart the heavily-damaged building.
“I’m just glad to see the work starting,” said Francisco Berlanga, part of Berlanga Family Partners, which owns the property, along with the nearby El Nopal Bakery. “We’ve been going through permits to begin demolition. It’s been almost three years.”
Berlanga said Wednesday that he was unsure what would be built in the high-profile business location.
Fire tore through the complex, situated just over the Main Street Bridge from Watsonville, in January 2017. North Monterey County Fire Division Chief Joe Pastore said the fire was caused by faulty wiring in the hair salon that spread into the attic.
The building was also used as a storage area for an automobile battery business, according to Pastore.
“We knew it was going to happen,” said Harry Wiggins, of the Pajaro Community Action Committee. “I drove by and had a look. It’s been such an eyesore. We’ve been trying for over two years to get this going. There’s been storms and even a flood. It took us and the community to get this started. Sometimes it takes community action and folks like Pajaro Community Action Committee. The squeaky wheels works.”
Berlanga said the demolition work should take about a week.