The Banning Business Center at Lincoln and Eighth streets caught fire Wednesday morning.
Two explosions could be heard at about 9:30 a.m. At least three of six buildings in the complex were ablaze. The fire was contained at 11:28 a.m.
Ten engine companies were dispatched and 45 firefighters were on scene, according to the Riverside County Fire Department incident center. The fire was first reported at 9:27 a.m. A spokeswoman said there were no reports of injuries.
West-southwest winds were blowing at 12 mph, fanning the flames.
Councilman Art Welch, who was at the scene, said the complex was never completed and never fully occupied. Transients have been a problem there for the past five or six years, he said.
In the groundbreaking ceremony in 2006, Michael Oman of MG Banning LLC, a Palm Springs-based company, told the Record Gazette the condominium-style complex would generate up to 450 jobs.
Welch believes it went into bankruptcy, was taken over by Riverside County, then sold at auction.
Staff Writer James Folmer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (951) 849-4586, ext. 117.