New details emerge on fire that destroyed apartment construction site in Downtown Phoenix

FOX 10 is learning more about a fire that burned down the future site of an apartment complex to the ground.

The fire burned near 600 West Grant Street, just off of 7th Avenue.  Videos and photographs shared by the fire department showed a massive blaze on the western edge of the Arizona city’s Warehouse District and less than a mile south of the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse.

Crews say the building was 40% completed when the second-alarm fire broke out. Hundreds of firefighters responded to the scene to battle the fire. Heat from the fire was so intense, it melted a street sign in the area.

FOX 10 has learned the building was supposed to be a four-story apartment complex, to be called the Alta Warehouse District.

It took firefighters 1.5 hours to get the flames under control, but crews were on the scene through the night to make sure it was completely out.

There were no injuries reported.

Nearby residents describe fire

People living in the area said they can feel the heat from where they were standing, and many said it was like something people would see in a movie.

"It was small at first, but then in a blink of an eye, everything was on fire," said Kammema Mattox-Renfro, who lives in the area. "There were explosions. It looked like a literal war zone. Something out of a Hollywood movie. It was unbelievable."

Fire officials say the explosions were most likely caused by trucks and machinery on site.

"It was horrifying. It was scary. It was heart-wrenching, and to watch hundreds of people come down the street," said Mattox-Renfro.

"Flames were shooting up at least 100, 200 feet in the air," said Tracey Maxwell. "It was intense enough that at one point, I walked down to the stop sign and the heat coming off of it was so intense that I had to back up this way."

An investigation is underway, with investigators in the process of collecting evidence, including any surveillance video, and interviewing witnesses.

"I really hope it wasn't some idiot trying to be an arsonist, destroying properties," said Maxwell.

UPDATE: Phoenix Fire Department sources tell FOX 10 they have video of a man throwing a molotov cocktail at the construction site. The company that owns the building is going to use the insurance money to rebuild.