Officials Assessing Damage From 5-Alarm Fire At Vacant Fells Point Building

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Firefighters are still keeping an eye on hot spots after a huge warehouse fire burned for hours.

Meghan McCorkell reports on the enormous effort to finally put that fire out.

Two firefighters were injured trying to put out the flames at the old Hecht’s building. The smoke from this fire was seen miles away.

Thick, black smoke fills the sky over Fells Point. At street level, it’s nearly blinding.

“You can see the flames coming through the roof here,” Capt. Jeff Long of Sky Eye Chopper 13 said.

Firefighters battled the flames shooting out of the old Hecht’s department store along South Broadway.

“We heard a fire truck go blazing by and a couple of helicopters overhead. Then, he came in shortly after and said, ‘Oh my gosh, the whole blocks on fire right north of here,'” Jen Armistead, who lives in the area, said.

Sky Eye Chopper 13 captured the roof of the warehouse caving in.

Two firefighters sustained minor injuries as they fought the flames. Others battled extreme temperatures.

“It’s very hard. We have to keep them cool. We rotate them through more often. But they’re tough. They do a great job in the heat,” Chief James Clack of the Baltimore City Fire Department said.

Firefighters evacuated nearby businesses. They did manage to contain the fire to just the Hecht’s.

“It was a little scary, especially for the homeowners and businesses around here,” Ernest Heinz, who lives in the neighborhood, said.

“It’s pretty intimidating. We live about a block away and there hasn’t really been too much rain. It’s a hot day outside, lots of wind,” Paul Johnson said.

After four hours, the fire was finally contained, leaving behind a shell of a building.

The mayor is among those now assessing the damage.

Firefighters will now work to determine what caused the fire in the first place.

Police arson detectives will be brought in to the building to investigate the cause of the fire.

Both firefighters that were injured are expected to recover completely from their injuries.

View pictures from the scene by clicking here.

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