Crews battle a structure fire in downtown Hollister early in the morning Nov. 2. Photo posted on Facebook by Mayor Ignacio Velazquez.

A series of fires in downtown Hollister destroyed two family-owned businesses early in the morning Nov. 2, and authorities are investigating the cause of the blazes.

And while the structure fires and cleanup resulted in unexpected traffic and road closures, San Benito County authorities advised residents that nearby voting centers remain open and voters should continue to cast their ballots as planned. “Our community should feel comfortable and encouraged to use the Vets Building and Elections Office to visit the polls,” reads an advisory sent out by the county at 7:30am Nov. 2. The Veterans Memorial Building is located at 649 San Benito Street; the county elections office is located at 440 Fifth Street. Both sites are open as county voting centers. 

Voters who want to cast their ballots at the veterans building are encouraged to use the parking lot on Seventh Street, west of San Benito Street, and walk to the polls, reads the county advisory. 

The fires affected East Street, from Fourth through Sixth streets. Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez posted on Facebook about 7:30am Nov. 2 that two local businesses and “a few” automobiles “were set on fire” Monday morning.

The two structure fires destroyed Cheung Sheng restaurant, 201 Sixth Street, and She’s Consignment & Gifts, 208 Fifth Street, according to Velazquez’ post. As of about 8:30am, the fires were extinguished and crews were cleaning up the areas surrounding the fires.

Hollister Fire officials have not yet released details about the fires.

This is a developing story. Check back later for details.

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