Massive fire destroys N. Philly warehouse

April 7, 2009 9:49:01 AM PDT
A massive four-alarm fire devastated a warehouse in North Philadelphia Monday night. Flames shot through the windows and several nearby homes were evacuated.

The fire destroyed the Sanders Supply Company building on 5th Street near Ontario.

Philadelphia Police remain on the scene this morning, making sure no one goes near the burned out building.

Most of the flames were concentrated on the 6th floor of the building. The roof was damaged and the windows were burned out, giving the structure the appearance of an abandoned building.

Later on today fire investigators will return to the scene and try to figure out what caused the fire.

The fire broke out just after 10:00 p.m. Some 150 firefighters rushed to the intersection of North 5th and Ontario to battle the blaze. It was not an easy fight, because the big brick building is bordered by railroad tracks and vacant lots.

Within a half an hour the fire had reached four-alarms - flames consumed the 6th floor of the warehouse.

Police went door to door ordering about 20 families living in nearby houses to evacuate immediately.

Just after 11:30 p.m. firefighters had the blaze under control.

Neighbors say the first floor was used by a restaurant supply company, and the upper floors - where the blaze burned - is where the equipment was stored.

Action News is told the famous brand in sledding, Flexible Flyer, used to use the building for manufacturing. More recently the building housed the Sanders Supply Company, who used the structure to house the used appliances it sold.

No one was injured in last night's blaze.

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