NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Fire Department was on the scene of a massive three alarm blaze Tuesday morning. It started Monday night in Central City at the intersection of Freret Street and Clio Street in a century-old warehouse.
When firefighters arrived on the scene around 11 p.m., they found heavy smoke pumping out of a brick office building and one metal warehouse building already fully involved in flame. Both are part of the Eagle Insulation Complex.
Firefighters attempted to force entry into the brick building, but were forced out by overwhelming flames and imminent signs that the building was going to collapse.
Eventually, one wall of the central brick office building partially collapsed on Clio. There was concern that another wall would collapse onto S. Robertson.
The size of the buildings involved, a total of approximately 35,000 sq. ft., and a heavy load of flammable insulation, proved extremely difficult for firefighters. A fire-watch made up of four fire companies remained on the scene throughout the night to make sure the fire was out.
The fire was under control at 4:37 a.m. with the help of 21 NOFD fire units and 68 fire personnel.
At 7 a.m., the fire was still smoldering deep inside the building, where rubble from the roof and interior had fallen in. Danger concerns caused firefighters to use the hoses and ladders of trucks to fight the blaze from the street.
Firefighters continued to pump water on the area Tuesday as demolition crews removed debris.
The third building in the complex was unharmed.
At the height of the fire, the smoke could be seen coming in from Metairie on Interstate-10.
Wind caused thick clouds of smoke to drift over the Pontchartrain Expressway.
The apartment building across the street from the complex was evacuated.
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