SUISUN CITY — Two business owners – one leaving California for Colorado and the other staying in the Golden State – talked commerce Friday after a blaze on vacant land across the railroad tracks off Highway 12 near the Webster Street off-ramp.
Billy Gaul, owner of The Tintz Guyz along Benton Court, had reported the 9:20 a.m. fire believed started by a candle at a homeless camp.
Firefighters from Fairfield, Suisun City and the Suisun Fire Protection District put out the blaze that burned about 100 feet by 100 feet.
“The fire department here is really good,” Gaul said.
The lure of Colorado Springs and the regulations that small businesses face in California helped spur Gaul’s departure Nov. 5, he said.
“California’s a beautiful place,” Gaul said. “It’s time to see something else.”
Gaul during the evening at his business can hear homeless people arguing at the camp over places to sleep, but that’s not behind his move to Colorado. He’s happy no one was hurt in the blaze at the camp where burning bamboo near a creek made loud popping sounds Friday morning.
Frank Sinderman, whose Extreme Cyclez is a few businesses down from Gaul’s, came from Germany to the United States. California’s a dream, he said, full of sunshine and opportunity.
“To me this is the greatest place in the world,” the 45-year-old said.
You can achieve anything you want if you work hard enough, Sinderman said. He added that the opportunities may be more apparent to an outsider, as Sinderman was when he arrived 16 years ago in San Francisco with a duffel bag and a mountain bike.
When he’s away from Solano County in Las Vegas or another city, Sinderman said he soon gets homesick for life here.
Suisun City Mayor Pete Sanchez said California continues to offer the best opportunities for business. The state is where new inventions and innovations develop, said the mayor, who also cited other Golden State benefits.
“In California there’s the cleanest air in the United States, the safest roads in the United States and the best schools,” Sanchez said. “California wants to make sure everything is safely done.”
The lure of business opportunities in Colorado and other Southwestern states was cited as among reasons that public schools in Solano County have seen their enrollment drop by nearly 10,000 students since the 2001-02 school year.
Fairfield Fire Battalion Chief Matt Luckenbach said several fires a month are reported at homeless camps and that the fire department is gathering data to determine how the calls are affecting the department.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or email@example.com.