DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Firefighters were still monitoring what was left of a large warehouse in the Redbird area of Dallas Saturday night after a three-alarm fire and hazmat scare shut down several blocks.
It was chopped up plastic containers that first caught fire that sent massive plumes of smoke into the air that some witnesses say seemed to turn day into night.
When Daniel Pessina went for a jog near the industrial buildings on Mint Way, he never expected he’d be shooting cell phone video of flames coming out of a warehouse. As the smoke got thicker, he and workers evacuating a neighboring building made their way to safety.
“And at that point, that’s when we started hearing like crackling, like popcorn kernels popping, and at some point we saw like a small little fireball, but the smoke was so thick, you couldn’t really see anything,” Pessina said.
Dallas Fire-Rescue says the fire began in a section of the warehouse that destroys and recycles large plastic containers that used to hold different kinds of chemicals. Workers tried to put out the flames themselves, but had to evacuate by the time firefighters got there.
“Our hazmat team came out. They went around the perimeter of the scene with sensors to monitor the air quality,” Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesperson Jason Evans said.
Firefighters closed in on the flames from above with ladder trucks raining down. A partial roof collapse on the north side allowed more access to the problem areas, which let firefighters get control of the spread, but many nearby couldn’t believe the scope of the destruction.
“I was just as much in shock as they were. I think we all pretty much didn’t know what to do,” Pessina said, “I don’t know how really to explain, I’ve never seen anything like that.”
No one was hurt in the fire and the wind worked to firefighters’ advantage allowing the smoke to dissipate in this largely commercial area before reaching homes to the south.