Union Bank officials have opened the vault at their burned-out branch building on El Paseo in Palm Desert, and the interior of the vault including safe deposit boxes, looks "in order," a bank spokesman said Tuesday morning.
"We were able to open our Palm Desert branch vault door late Monday afternoon," Tom Taggart, senior vice president and director of Union Bank's corporate communications division, said in an email at 8 a.m. Oct. 22.
"Our security team made an initial visual assessment of the
vault's interior and it looked in order, including the safe deposit
boxes," Taggart said. "We expect to enter the vault again in the coming days once the
building is deemed structurally sound."
Union Bank officials have spoken with nearly all customers who have accounts and/or a safe deposit boxes at the burned-out branch, according to Taggart.
"We will continue to communicate with them about the status of
the safe deposit boxes in the coming days," Taggart said.
There was heavy smoke and fire showing from the exterior of the one-story building when the first crews arrived, prompting a second alarm call-out for more firefighters. A contingent of 10 engine crews and two truck crews totaling 40 firefighters responded to the blaze.
The fire was declared contained at 10:26 p.m. The bank building was completely destroyed, Hendrickson said.
No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remained under investigation as of Tuesday morning, Mark Annas of Cal Fire said in a phone interview.