Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a massive warehouse fire that broke out Friday night in south central El Paso.
When the flames and smoke finally cleared, nothing was salvageable inside the building’s black, crisp shell.
The smell of smoke was still thick in the air more than 24 hours after that fire broke out at the trucking warehouse, and officials from the El Paso Fire Department say that smoke was just one of several battles crews were up against.
It was a sight that stopped many in their tracks – flames creeping dangerously close to power lines, coupled with the thick, heavy smoke.
Water hoses pumped out more than 100,000 gallons of water. The temperature inside the warehouse reached over 1,000 degrees, which is no wonder the five-hour fight took its toll on firefighters – all 65 of them.
“Yes, it’s nighttime, but it’s still pretty warm out there; the guys are working, they’re wearing 60 pounds of equipment and so we gotta make sure we rotate ’em constantly to keep ’em fresh,” said John Concha of the El Paso Fire Department.
Fire officials said even more dangers loomed for residents living just down the street. “Smoke was billowing down to the street level for two or three blocks,” said Concha.
Fortunately, he added, the winds carried the smoke north of the fire; there were a lot of industrial places and “not too many homes.”
By Saturday, the panic subsided, at least for nearby residents.
Inside the warehouse, the fire took its toll – a charred filing cabinet, a coffee pot that will never be used again, and exposed wires that could have contributed to the intensity of this blaze.
Fire investigators said the building was a total loss.
Business owners will now have to deal with things such as singed business files, charred debris spilling from their trucks, and water still seeping inside, while workers look for the safest way out.
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Fire crews went to battle Friday night with a massive warehouse fire in south central El Paso.
Investigators say the fire began around 8:41 p.m. at a trucking company on Delta and Coles.
Flames were visible from blocks away as gray plumes of smoke filled the area.
El Paso Fire Department Spokesman John Concha said a total of 20 fire units were called in because of the intensity of the blaze.
Concha added firefighters were attacking the flames from the outside because it was too dangerous to enter the massive building, which encompassed around 60,000 square feet.
He added parts of the roof and wall had collapsed due to the fire and that temperatures inside the warehouse were as hot as 1,000 degrees.
Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control at around 1:20 a.m. Saturday. However, some firefighters required medical assistance, and even the Red Cross was there to help them out.