Video: Wind-fueled, 5-alarm fire rips through vacant St. Louis warehouse

One person was injured, the building collapsed in several spots and firefighters hosed down nearby buildings


By David Carson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — One person was injured after a massive, wind-fueled fire ripped through a vacant warehouse Tuesday evening near St. Louis' riverfront.

The fire, in a five-story warehouse at North First and O'Fallon streets, began about 6:30 p.m. and raged for more than two hours. It was classified as a five-alarm blaze, which is uncommon and the first such designation in years, according to St. Louis Fire Department Capt. Garon Mosby.

The warehouse collapsed in several spots, and firefighters hosed down nearby buildings to keep it from spreading. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the warehouse was more than 100 years old.

The injured man had a laceration to his face, which was treated as a non-life-threatening injury, Mosby said.

Firefighting efforts were made more complicated by narrow streets in the area, about a half-mile north of Laclede's Landing. The flames burned so hot that firefighters, about 80 yards from the building, were driven backward. Jenkerson described the scene as a "windstorm of embers."

The 15 mph winds on Tuesday worried firefighters, with Laclede Power Generation Facility and other warehouses next to the building. However, the fire was under control as of 8:45 p.m., with the fire department to remain in place overnight until the fire was completely out.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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