Five-alarm fire destroys massive Dallas warehouse

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WFAA

Posted on August 13, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Updated Sunday, Aug 14 at 5:50 PM

Four-alarm fire

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DALLAS — A massive warehouse burned out of control on Saturday morning as firefighters worried about possible dangers posed by chemicals stored inside.

Dallas Fire-Rescue called five alarms to the Leslie's Swimming Pool Supply warehouse at 4202 Dan Morton Drive in the Red Bird area of southwest Dallas.

The building also housed a storage facility for the North Texas Food Bank.

Section Chief J.C. Adams said the first units to arrive quickly escalated the level of manpower and equipment needed to five alarms.

"There's a railroad track going along the back and some woods, so we could not fight the fire from the back side," he said. "The walls have collapsed on the far side, and they're about to collapse on the back side."

A huge plume of dark smoke rose from the building, and there were concerns that fire and water reacting with pool chemicals could pose a danger.

"I'm sure that the EPA is going to do something about measuring the level of smoke or any toxins in the smoke," Chief Adams said. "The water runoff, we haven't found any contamination in that as of yet."

No evacuation was ordered because the warehouse is in an industrial, not a residential area.

It wasn't long before firefighters were working defensively, meaning that they had given up all hope of saving the contents of the 452,000 square foot warehouse.

Dallas Fire-Rescue estimated losses at $6 million. The food bank — which was in the process of moving in to the facility — lost approximately $50,000 of equipment, although no food was being stored  there when the fire broke out.

There were no reports of injuries, although at least one person on a stretcher was seen being moved to a waiting ambulance.

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