Firefighters battle 1st-alarm commercial building fire in Phoenix

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Firefighters say no one was injured in a first-alarm fire on Tuesday that they are calling suspicious.

"How does a vacant building in the middle of the night put out a tremendous amount of fire we saw?" said Capt. Rob McDade of the Phoenix Fire Department.

Initially, the 911 call came in as a report of a dumpster fire by a witness driving by, but when firefighters arrived at the scene, the found roaring flames shooting out of these two vacant commercial buildings -- an old tire shop and the Arthur Murray Dance Studio.

"When I heard the sirens and saw the smoke, first I thought it was the pawn shop, then the 99 cent store," Robert Talboys said. Flames were coming out. I went in to get my phone and in a matter of those few minutes, I came out and the whole thing was through the roof."

Fire crews fought the blaze defensively until they were able to get inside so the fire would not spread to surrounding buildings.

"I thought it was something in my own apartment and once I woke up, I could tell it was too strong," Larry Sweet said.

"I didn't get the roof collapsing, but when that did, the embers flew over to our place and I said, 'no, please don't let us burn,'" Talboys said.

They weren't exactly shocked by what happened. In fact, they expected it.

"The police have been running out of here a lot," Sweet said. "There's always a big mess over here, outside the building and so I was kind of wondering when something like this would happen."