WALNUT CREEK, CA — Investigators continued probing what caused a fire that destroyed a Walnut Creek lumberyard whose owners' mounting financial woes put them at risk of foreclosure on several Northern California properties, according to The Mercury News.

Detectives began peeling back mounds of debris on the third day of their investigation at Piedmont Lumber and Millwork Co. Firefighters quickly quenched some small flare-ups overnight.

The four-alarm fire on Mar. 12 immolated more than an acre of building and construction stock. It destroyed the two-story business and damaged two adjacent ones. Investigators peg the loss around $5 million.

“We are continuing our search for the origin and cause of the fire,” Contra Costa County Fire Investigator Vic Massenkoff said. “The structure on the property was about 7,800 square feet, so you can imagine we have quite a task. I expect it will be another one to two days.”

The fire was the second at a Piedmont Lumber site in seven months.

Court records show the lumber company is on the brink of financial ruin.

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