Warehouse fire forces evacuations

April 23, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A four-alarm fire in a warehouse in the 1600 and 1700 blocks of W. North Ave. injured no one last night but forced the evacuation of nearby residents.

Firefighters received a call about 7:30 p.m. reporting a fire at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Retreat Street, said Chief Kevin Cartwright, spokesman for the city Fire Department. About 35 trucks and 100 firefighters and medics responding found nothing at that intersection but saw smoke and flames shooting out of a warehouse about two blocks away.

The fire consumed many of the one-story warehouse's storage compartments, including one used by the city to store tractor equipment and bags of fertilizer, Cartwright said.

A 10-foot brick wall behind the warehouse prevented the flames from spreading to nearby homes, but as a precaution authorities evacuated three families and sheltered them in borrowed buses, Cartwright said.

Firefighters had the flames under control by 10:30 p.m. The cause of the blaze is being investigated.

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