5-alarm fire destroys North Philly warehouse

Andrew Kramer
May 18, 2018 - 8:33 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Fire crews battled a massive blaze Friday night that broke out a vacant warehouse in North Philadelphia.

Crews were called to Lipincott Street near 21st and Allegheny just before 6:30pm.

Before the blaze was placed under control over three hours later, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel says it reached five alarms.

"A fifth alarm fire brings more than 200 firefighters, medics, EMTs, support personnel and 65 fire apparatuses," he said, "so we essentially used most of the Philadelphia fire Department on this incident."

The building also partially collapsed. Thiel said Mother Nature didn't do them any favors either.

"This is a very difficult fire to fight with the weather conditions," he added. "We had gusty winds, there were a couple times during this we weren't sure where the fire was going to stop."

He said the fire spread to other nearby buildings, including a church, but there was no major damage to any of those. There weren't any injuries either, but the fire did leave some residents, like these two women, in shock.

"All this smoke, it was like a storm that has been time lapsed faster," the one said. "It's crazy."

"The smoke, the way it's bellowing from the building, it's scary," said the other.

The thick smoke could be seen as far as the eye could see. 

OEM and the Red Cross were on scene.

Thiel says the fire investigation could take a "very long time."