By Oren Liebermann, Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Crews were on the scene all day and night Saturday after a three-alarm fire tore through a grocery store in Darby Borough, Delaware County.
Fire fighters responded to the store on the 800 block of Main Street at 6 a.m. Two nearby apartment buildings had to be evacuated as a precaution.
There were three minor injuries reported. One was a firefighter, who burnt his hands and two civilians were also injured, one suffering from smoke inhalation.
PHOTOS: From The Scene
Reggie Hardy lost his home for a night. He is glad he did not lose anything else.
“Thankful to God nobody was hurt. Ya know, nobody was injured. It’s just property,” said Hardy. “Tomorrow’s another day.”
Hardy lives in an apartment building two doors away from a fire that ravaged a grocery store. The fire was so intense, it knocked down the back wall of the store where, only minutes before, firefighters had been working. Hardy pulled the fire alarm in his building, then got out.
“When I looked outside, you could see the smoke billowing from the grocery store.”
Flames poured out of the store for hours. Firefighters used so many hoses, they had to pull water from nearby Darby Creek to keep up pressure. SEPTA lines and power lines criss-crossed the street, making every aspect of this fire hard to fight.
“It seemed like every adverse condition happened. These guys had their act together and were able to plug that hole,” said Police Chief Robert Smythe.
Red Cross set up a shelter at Darby Borough Hall for the night, housing about a dozen people who cannot go back home yet. They will get a place to eat and sleep.
“Everyone in there is really doing fine. We’re keeping their spirits up, keeping them laughing. They’re very sad because a lot of them won’t be able to go back [tonight], but like I said, we’re doing our best,” Mayor Helen Thomas said.
Long after the last flames, smoke still filled the sky above Darby. A street that took hours to destroy will take days to clean up.