Fire inspectors work to determine cause of East Phoenix fire

A huge fire on Tuesday raced through a valley business, shooting flames and smoke high above the neighborhood.

It was scary moments for businesses near Paramount Promotions, where employees could only watch and wait and hope that the fire wouldn't get to them.

It took over 100 firefighters to tame the blaze. The fire shut down a portion of East Phoenix near the airport for several hours.

On Wednesday fire inspectors, contractors, and cleanup crews were hard at work.

There are a lot of businesses up and down this street, so the effects of this fire were not just felt at the scene of the fire.

Esther Rodriguez was heading into work; she was one of the first 9-1-1 callers.

"At first I was wondering what was going on, I didn't see anything, but when I got here I saw black smoke and noise, a popping noise," said Esther Rodriguez.

While the battle raged to contain the smoke and flames, Esther waited and worried.

Was she ever afraid of losing her business; Post Box Express? "A little bit yeah, once the black smoke started coming out it, I feared it could spread, maybe it was just like wait and see I guess," said Rodriguez.

The roof collapsed on Paramount Promotions. The smoke was so fierce that Sky Harbor Airport was issuing warnings to pilots flying overhead, and the light-rail was closed briefly. The power also went off inside Post Box Express.

"Yeah, we could feel the ash coming down, and smoke coming in here... it was just bad," she said.

But Phoenix Fire's strategy to fight the fire defensively paid off, penning in the smoke and flames. 

The investigation into what caused the fire is continuing. 
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