PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia neighborhood was awoken by a warehouse fire overnight. The massive six-alarm sparked in Tioga, and neighbors say they’re happy it wasn’t their homes.
“Just to see this, this is crazy. Wow,” one neighbor said.
Neighbors stunned in Tioga as a warehouse burns to the ground. By morning, you could see the devastation left behind, as smoke filled the nearby neighborhood.
“I didn’t hear it at first and my housemate started banging on my door, ‘Marcus, Marcus’ and I got up and look and it was devasting pretty much,” Marcus Anderson said.
“When I tell you never in my life have I seen anything like this, I mean it. Never,” Wanda Compton said.
The fire sparked just after 2 a.m. Eyewitness News cameras capturing the moment a section collapsed.
The warehouse is located on Stokely Street near West Westmoreland Street. Fire officials say it was housing papers and other materials that helped feed the flames.
Despite the fire being on the opposite side of train tracks, neighbors say the flames were so intense they thought houses would catch fire.
“A six-alarm fire is the largest fire that we’ve had since early 2016 before I arrived here in Philadelphia, so this is a major blaze,” Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel said.
.@PhillyFireDept commissioner @ThielAdam says this fire is larger than the PES Refinery fire from last spring. He says it will take them several more hours to get it under control. They’ve been here since 2am @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/XE7rfkWcgk
— Howard Monroe (@HMonroeNews) August 23, 2020
Thiel says four or five buildings caught fire and it took nearly 250 firefighters to get the fire under control.
“The fact that this fire did not go all the way down this street and take out the entire block, as well as the other way, is an absolute testament to the valor of the Philadelphia firefighters who put themselves in grave danger to protect lives and property,” Thiel said.
He also said this fire was so large that half of the on-duty firefighters responded and he added that it was larger than the refinery fire from last spring.
The Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery that exploded and caught fire last June was a three-alarm fire.
Back at the warehouse fire, one firefighter was injured but is expected to be OK.
Officials expect to be here for days putting out hot spots.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.