Bay Area music store housing a million records burns down in possible arson

A Bay Area Music Community device was damaged in what police suspect was an arson attack.

A fire early Wednesday morning was set alight The man of records, a Redwood City record store that houses over a million vinyl records and a slew of vintage CDs and video games. Redwood City firefighters extinguished the blaze later that morning, but not before it caused extensive damage to the exterior, the police said.

It also caused extensive water and smoke damage inside the building, but fortunately most of the documents inside remained unscathed.

“It’s bad, but it’s not too bad,” Gary Saxon, owner of Record Man, says KTVU, adding that the store has been re-energized by young music fans and the pandemic.

Inside, the store is a cratediggers dream, rivaled perhaps only by the likes of Amoeba – shelves full of records and listening spaces.

“The impressive collection of LPs, 45s and 78s is virtually unmatched by any store in the country,” reads the store’s website. Store owners refer to the Record Man, both its storefront and its virtual presence, as a “wonderland of thrilling musical exploration” with records dating back at least 100 years.

City fire inspectors determined the blaze was “suspicious in nature,” police said, though the statement did not release further details.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective David Denning at (650) 780-7141 or the Redwood City Police Hotline at (650) 780-7110.

Store officials and Redwood City police did not immediately respond to SFGATE’s requests for comment.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Alice P. Darby