A four-alarm fire at a Gilbert plumbing warehouse sent a
giant plume of black smoke over the Valley on Monday.
Both explosions and flames were reported at Farnsworth
Wholesale, located at 27 W. Baseline Road, about 3:15 p.m.
“I saw a couple explosions and a lot of big flames, smoke,” said Jim Cruz, who was in the area.
Propane tanks were exploding in the business’ back lot and
a car parked in the lot was seen on fire.
“Early on in this event, we had a lot of explosions taking place,” said Gilbert Fire Captain Mark Justus. “There were some locker cabinets where they kept propane tanks for the forklifts at this business. We believe those flammable gases were where those explosions were coming from early on in this event.”
The fire started in some plastic piping.
Some houses near the fire were evacuated as a precaution, because firefighters were not certain what was burning and what chemicals were being released into the air.
“We probably could have stayed, but it was starting to get a little smelly in there,” said Chris Baker. “I’ve got one son that has asthma-like symptoms and I thought, ‘Ya, we better get out.'”
Baseline Road was closed between Country Club Drive and
McQueen Road. It was reopened about 5:30 p.m.
McQueen Road was closed between Baseline Road and San
The eastbound exit ramp at Country Club from US 60 was closed.
There’s no immediate word on how the fire started.
No injuries have been reported.
Dozens of fire trucks from Gilbert, Tempe, Chandler and
Mesa are on the scene
and an aerial tanker is spraying water on the flames.
About 200 firefighters responded.
KTAR’s Kim Cross and the Associated Press contributed to this