Food bank storage fire: Blaze south of Maricopa destroys semi truck trailers near church

A food bank in the Phoenix area is lending a helping hand, after a food pantry near the town in Maricopa was destroyed, when a fire broke out near one of the buildings.

Fire burned down semi trailers

The fire happened on the afternoon of March 28, in an area west of Papago Road and State Route 347, southwest of Maricopa. While no one was hurt in the fire, the blaze did destroy six semi truck trailers that were packed with food.

"Canned food pallets and crates of food," said Maricopa Fire Deputy Chief Christopher Bolinger. "[The food] goes to the public to help during this time of need."

Members of the church say they had just finished distributing the items when the fire started. The church itself was not affected by the blaze, as volunteer fire crews arrived on time to put it out.

"The pantry will survive. It means a lot to community around us. We serve about 1,000 families a week. I think the community will wrap around us," said church member Mike Connelly.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

St. Mary's Food Bank steps in

On March 30, officials with Phoenix's St. Mary's Food Bank say they are going to help out the church food pantry.

"This is a traumatic event for them," said Jerry Brown with St. Mary's Food Bank. "All of their volunteers are at a standstill right now. It is not something you can fix in a day, or a week."

St. Mary's Food Bank supplies a little more than half of the pantry's food. Now, officials with St. Mary's are giving the food pantry enough food to cover daily operations, as well as providing other resources to keep them up and running for the community.

"We were happy no one was hurt," said Brown. "We can replace the food. We can replace the trailers. Those kinds of things can be done, but no one was injured or hurt, so that is great."

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