By Amy Kawata

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City Fire officials are investigating the cause of a three-alarm fire at the Domino Sugar building on Tuesday afternoon.

Fire crews responded around 3 p.m. after reports of heavy smoke in the area.

READ MORE: Domino Sugar Refinery Resumes Processing After Fire

“We had people calling in to say they could see smoke from miles and miles away,” Blair Adams, of the Baltimore City Fire Department, said.

When crews arrived on the scene, they made their way to a storage shed at the building.

“It’s insane,” Pierre Aguilar, a Dominio Sugar factory worker, said. “It’s crazy. In the shed, it’s all raw sugar. Whatever comes off the ship goes into that shed.”

 

The Baltimore City Firefighters Union said the building collapsed, causing a sugary mixture to spill onto the scene, forcing crews to retreat to avoid getting stuck.

“The fire that was started, or originated in and around the silo, managed to make its way to the conveyer belt and traveled just a short distance up the conveyor belt,” Adams said.

The sight attracted dozens of people as they watched the sugar shack from a distance melt away.

READ MORE: WJZ Exclusive: Take A Sneak Peek Of The New Domino Sugar Sign

“I’m supposed to work tonight, assume,” Aguilar said. “I assume I’m not working tonight. Almost every week, we go in and out of that shed.”

Firefighters spent hours working to put out the blaze. Several employees were rescued by boat, but no injuries were reported.

“It’s pretty scary,” Aguilar said.

The fire was not completely out by Wednesday afternoon. Crews let the fire burn throughout the night.

“Anytime we have a fire, especially one of this magnitude, we allow the fire to burn so that it eventually smothers or puts itself out, and there are different strategies that are used and in this case that’s what we did we allowed the fire to burn throughout the night just because it was a contained area,” said Blair Adams with Baltimore City Fire.

A Baltimore City Fire engine was damaged during the fire. Once the building had collapsed, one of their engines took a beating, they said Wednesday.