It took 150 firefighters and 90 firetrucks, but a "five-alarm fire" that is burning in San Francisco, Calif. has been successfully brought under control.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the fire, said to be the largest seen in several years, consumed a large apartment building on Fourth Street. There were no residents in the building as it had been under construction.
Prior to the efforts of fire officials to successfully contain the blaze, it was described as "fast moving". Fire Capt. Matthew McNaughton blamed the "open construction of the building" for the fire's ability to spread so rapidly..
The fire began at around 5:00 pm local time and as it spread residents were evacuated from surrounding buildings as a precaution. Witnesses described billowing clouds of blackish smoke and the scaffolding melting due to the intense heat of the blaze. Chunks of the 80 foot structure were said to have fallen away.
Thanks to the efficient work of officials, there were no reported fatalities or serious injuries. One firefighter was said to have received minor burns while fighting the blaze.
— Scott Eddy (@MrScottEddy) March 12, 2014
I can see the San Francisco fire from across town. Hope everyone is alright. pic.twitter.com/mrJq5eVz74
— Hunter Hastings (@hah) March 12, 2014
Efforts to contain the huge fire went on late into the night, which was deemed successfully contained in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
McNaughton suspected that whatever caused the fire had been smoldering for at least an hour. He described the core of the blaze as looking like "a volcano". The exact cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
The most unfortunate aspect of the fire is that it might have been largely prevented. Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said that the building's sprinkler system had not been put in yet, a fact that is expected to make reconstruction of the unfinished project that much more expensive.
A statement released by BRE Properties on Tuesday said that despite the extensive damage caused to the apartment building, they're fairly certain most of it will be covered by insurance.
It's expected that fire officials will continue to monitor the situation well into Wednesday. The building is expected to collapse at some point as a result of the fire.
Image via YouTube