Historic IBM building destroyed by fire

March 9, 2008 at 4:11 PM

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 9 (UPI) -- An IBM building in San Jose, Calif., where the predecessor to the computer hard drive was invented has been destroyed by a three-alarm fire.

The structure, known only as Building 25, was designated a total loss by San Jose Fire Department Capt. Anthony Pianto following Saturday's blaze, the San Francisco Chronicle said Sunday.

"Because of the size of the building and the amount of damage and charring, it's going to take a while to determine the cause or even the point of origin -- where the fire actually started," Pianto said.

The IBM building had been mired in a local preservation fight. Demolition had been proposed to make room for a new development project, but preservation officials had been fighting the move.

Those officials cited the fact the flying hard drive, the precursor to the modern computer hard drive, was invented at the San Jose site.

The Chronicle said some preservation officials suspect arson.

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