PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A four-alarm fire devoured a warehouse with roaring flames sending thick plumes of smoke and embers into Philadelphia’s Port Richmond neighborhood, Sunday night. Firefighters placed the fire under control, but remain at the scene Monday morning putting out hot spots.
Officials say the blaze broke out at The Thrifty Irishman on East Butler Street, not far from Frankford Avenue, just after 7:15 p.m. More than a hundred firefighters battled the flames for several hours before placing it under control, just before 10 p.m.
Hakima Yassini was working inside The Thrifty Irishman warehouse before the flames began engulfing the building. She closed the warehouse around 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Two hours later, she saw several firetrucks whiz past her.
“We’re surprised with what happened,” Yassini said. “I said, ‘Oh my god, they are going to the same place where we work at so I take a turn and I see the fire.”
A blaze that put even firefighters on the defensive.
“They started to make an aggressive interior attack, which is always what we do, and the volume quickly changed that tactic,” Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said. “They were pushed out of the building.”
Thiel said firefighters had to mount an exterior attack after being pushed out of the warehouse.
Investigators say they’re not sure what caused the fire but battling it was extremely challenging.
More than 150 firefighters worked together on the ground while a helicopter hovered above.
The Thrifty Warehouse sells everything from clothes to furniture, but now much of it is in ruins after the raging fire burnt nearly everything inside.
Firefighters say, to their knowledge, no one has been injured in the blaze.
Fire officials say one person was taken to the hospital in unknown condition.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.