Huge fire tears through Buckeye business


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 6:24 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 10:40 AM

Map: 25550 W. Highway 85, Buckeye

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BUCKEYE, Ariz. -- Firefighters from several cities responded to an early morning two-alarm fire at a Buckeye business.

The fire started just before 3 a.m. in the business office of VMC Enterprises, which is located near MC 85 and Watson Road, south of Interstate 10 in the far West Valley.

Even though the fire was under control, thick white smoke continued to billow into the air three hours later. Crews remained on the scene all morning and into the afternoon, watching for flare-ups and mopping up hot spots.

VMC Enterprises, which services and rents farm and construction equipment, is a 10,000-square-foot facility that sits on a 5-acre lot surrounded by homes.

Because this was designated a two-alarm fire, more resources than usual were assigned to deal with it.

Nearly 100 firefighters from Buckeye Valley, Buckeye, Peoria, Avondale and Phoenix responded to the scene. Many of them were on standby in case the fire spread to the machinery. One of the big concerns was the fuel in that machinery.

Buckeye Fire Chief Bob Costello said his teams had moved into overhaul mode by noon.

While no injuries were reported, fire, smoke and water destroyed about half of the building.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

VMC Enterprises, also known as Integrated Machinery, Inc., has more than 50 full-time employees.