Fire destroys buildings at historic Racquet Club

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A two-alarm fire burned late Wednesday night at the historic Racquet Club in Palm Springs.  Authorities say it burned four buildings, causing major damage to two of them. 

Palm Springs Fire Chief John Allen said the first engines were called to 2743 N. Indian Canyon Drive, near West Dominguez Road and Puerta del Sol at about 9:30 p.m. 

When firefighters arrived, they found several buildings engulfed by flames.  Some residents near the two-story condos that were burning were evacuated while firefighters worked to put out the blaze.  

The fire came on the hottest day of the year so far in Palm Springs, temperatures touching 116 on the west side, tying a record set in 2006. Firefighters also deal with breezy winds that set smoke around the area.  

Fire crews were on scene through much of the night into the early morning hours, because some of the buildings collapsed on each other. Heavy machinery has been brought in to sift through the rubble. 

Several neighbors complained about transients living in the vacant, abandoned condos and starting smaller fires in the past.  

Allen said it's too early to determine a cause and it was too dangerous for investigators to enter the condos Wednesday evening. They should be able to learn more as they look into the situation on Thursday. 

Stay with NewsChannel 3 and CBS Local 2 for the latest information. 

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