Tucson firefighters battle a massive warehouse fire

Photo courtesy of Capt. Barrett Baker with Tucson Fire.

Tucson firefighters battle a massive warehouse fire

CREATED Jul 30, 2012

Reporter: Valerie Cavazos

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Firefighters say the blaze was so high that it looked like a "volcanic eruption" that could be seen for miles.

Dozens of 911 calls came in at around 7:30 pm and it only took 4 minutes for firefighters to arrive at a warehouse near 23rd and 2nd. Capt. Barrett Baker of the Tucson Fire Department said it used to be Don's Frozen Food Locker. He said the gas and electric services were shut off last year so they believe the building was abandoned.

Baker said the blaze was so intense that if anyone was inside, he or she would not have survived. The firefighters planned to "surround and drown" the building -- a defensive measure used by firefighters when they know that they can't save anyone inside a burning building and need to keep the fire from quickly spreading.

Firefighters had many obstacles while battling the blaze. They had to maneuver ladders around many electric power lines near the warehouse and quickly work with Tucson water to boost the pressure in fire hydrants. Train service also stopped for more than an hour because a track is adjacent to the warehouse. Most of the fire was extinguished before midnight.

Building inspectors will go in to make sure everything is safe and then investigators will go into the building to dermine the cause.

Damages are estimated at half a million dollars.