Customer thought 'something really bad is about to happen'July 12, 2018 7:14pm

PHOENIX (AP) — Spencer McClure had two thoughts when he saw smoke starting to fill the back of a supermarket where he was shopping Wednesday evening.

He "was trying not to panic" as he saw the smoke around him in the Safeway store, McClure told television station ABC15 (KNXV ). "At the same time I was thinking, 'I think something really bad is about to happen,' " he said.

On Thursday, the Phoenix Fire Department said the blaze that gutted the store might have stemmed from a rooftop accumulation of water from rainstorms. The fire sent flames high above the building after it was evacuated when the fire was first reported.

Investigators were looking into the possibility that a partial roof collapse in the back of the store broke a gas line and damaged the main electrical box, starting the fire that destroyed the store Wednesday evening, said fire Capt. Rob McDade, a department spokesman.

There may have been an accumulation of water on the store's flat roof from a microburst that dropped heavy rain in the area shortly before the fire as well as from previous storms this week, McDade said.

No injuries were reported, but firefighters who entered the store in west-central Phoenix to fight the fire reported in the back room had to quickly retreat when more of the roof collapsed, some of it on the firefighters, McDade said.

Meanwhile, another crew made sure everybody else was out of the building, he said.

The captain of the crew that had been fighting the fire reported hearing a whoosh of flames as the firefighters left the building, McDade said. "We're very lucky that none of our members were injured and lucky that everybody made it out safely," he said.

Dozens of Phoenix and Glendale firefighters, some shooting water from atop extended ladders, battled the blaze for hours after it broke out around 6 p.m. A thick plume of smoke from the fire was visible from many miles away.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

A worker cleans up debris from the tornado damaged Marshall County Courthouse's tower Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Marshalltown, Iowa. Several buildings were damaged by a tornado in the main business district in town including the historic courthouse. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
The Latest: Iowa governor issues disaster proclamation
The Latest: 7 injured when tornado hits Iowa factorySeven people inside a Pella manufacturing plant when it was struck by a tornado have been treated for injuries at the local hospital and released
Graphic shows fatal duck boat incidents since 1999; 2c x 5 inches; 96.3 mm x 127 mm;
Ticket mix-up put family on ill-fated Missouri tourist boat
The Latest: Army says 5th person hurt in depot blast, fireThe Army says a fifth person required hospital treatment after a small explosion and fire at a sprawling military facility in Pennsylvania
Puerto Rican evacuees get another extension on housingHundreds of Hurricane Maria evacuees from Puerto Rico who are living in hotels around the nation have been given more weeks to use temporary housing vouchers
Work on NYC tunnels complete 6 years after Superstorm SandyWork to restore and upgrade the Hugh L. Carey and Queens Midtown tunnels is complete six years after they were badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy
This component is currently unavailable.
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices