Firefighters Contain Large Fire Near Phoenix

Firefighters have contained a large fire burning at a plumbing supply and welding company in central Phoenix, reports

The fire started shortly before noon on Thursday at Breecher Sales, which is located near the Interstate 10 and Interstate 17 interchange. Two employees were welding when the fire broke out, according to the Phoenix Fire Department. One of them suffered minor burns.

The fire consumed three structures in about 20 minutes, according to Phoenix fire Capt. Jonathan Jacobs.

Neighboring businesses were evacuated. Fire crews surrounded the area and applied large volumes of water.

The second-alarm fire initially came out as a hazmat call. Jacobs said there were multiple materials involved in the fire, including stored compressed gases, flammable metals and structures.

There were several explosions during the fire.

“We have compressed gases, such as natural gas, propane gas, those tanks and bottles had been rupturing due to the heat of the fire and actually coming apart and really jeopardizing firefighters,” Jacobs said.

A representative from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is monitoring the air quality at the site of the fire.

Jacobs expects that fire crews will be on the scene for most of the afternoon. As of 3 p.m., approximately 60 firefighters were still there, assessing damage to the structures, extinguishing large hot spots and monitoring for hazardous substances.

“This is still an extremely dangerous and volatile scene, but it is contained,” Jacobs said.

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