Closings: Schools, churches, day-cares and businesses

Massive warehouse fire in downtown St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – St. Louis firefighters swarmed downtown Monday afternoon to battle a four-alarm blaze at a large warehouse.

Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX helicopter flew over the scene in the 1900 block of Washington. The fire is out, but it has been a very difficult afternoon for firefighters. They dealing with one of the worst types of fires they can have under some of the worst conditions under which to fight a fire.

The building is a large two story vacant warehouse that takes up the entire length of the block between 19th and 20th streets on Washington avenue. When firefighters got the call at 1:30pm Monday the fire was already burning big. It quickly went to four alarms, with 80 firefighters on the scene.

The warehouse is attached to a commercial building on the west end that includes four apartments and a salon called the Glamour Studio. Quick action by firefighters and a fire wall kept the flames from getting into that part of the building. Residents and the employees were evacuated as a precaution.

one of those employees was Anthonise Garth. "I was like oh my God what is going on, it was crazy, it was crazy. "

"Heavy amount of smoke, main entry pushed through, fire was too far ahead of us. It`s a very big building, a lot of different compartments. The type of building that a firefighter can get lost in, get seriously injured, or even die in. So, the incident commander made the excellent call. He pulled them out and went into a defensive stance. This means we surround the building and drown the fire." said Capt. Garon Mosby.

The other issue for firefighters is the bitter cold. It introduces even more danger to the situation because of water freezing on the streets and equipment. Despite those issues, no firefighters were injured.

It will be a while before fire investigators know what started the fire. People who work in the area say homeless people use it for shelter and may have had a fire going inside to try to keep warm.