PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia firefighters are still putting out hot spots after a massive six-alarm fire ripped through a warehouse early Sunday morning in the city’s Tioga neighborhood. Neighbors even jumped in to help put out the flames.
“I didn’t know a paper factory was up there,” neighbor Clifford McClendon said. “Must have been a lot of paper in there.”
Firefighters have been working the warehouse fire in Tioga for more than a day. The still smoldering fire sparked just after 2 a.m. Sunday, the fire eventually grew to six alarms. Eyewitness News cameras captured the moment a section collapsed.
The warehouse is located on Stokely Street, near Westmoreland Street. Fire officials say it was housing paper and other materials that helped feed the flames.
Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel says four or five buildings caught fire.
“The fact that this fire did not go all the way down the street and take out this entire block, as well as the other way, is an absolute testament to – there is no other word for it – the valor of Philadelphia firefighters who put themselves in grave danger to protect lives and property,” Thiel said.
“A lot of people have been given them congratulations, you know, a lot of people. Just people walking down the street,” McClendon said.
Neighbors were seen helping firefighters run hoses. The fire raged for merely ten hours and took nearly 250 firefighters to get it under control.
Thiel says crews could be out in Tioga for days putting out hot spots.
He says this is the first six-alarm fire in Philadelphia in over four years. He said it was larger than the PES refinery fire last June in South Philly. Despite the explosion, that fire was three alarms.