Investigators look into 'suspicious' fire at storage facility

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35 units damaged

Units destroyed in storage facility fire

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TEMPE - Investigators are calling massive fire that damaged 35 units at a Tempe storage facility Wednesday night suspicious.

It happened at Storage Solutions near McKellips Road and Miller Drive.

Investigators will be looking through surveillance video to see if they can determine what happened on the property just before the fire started. They said they are focusing specifically on some people and their possible involvement.

Firefighters said Storage Solutions has security system that requires tenants to entire individual codes when they enter and leave the facility. That means investigators know exactly who was on the property and when they were there.

The fire was reported at around 8:00 Wednesday by a passerby, who reported seeing smoke coming from the facility.

The first firefighters on the scene immediately called for backup, tripling the number of resources to deal with the first-alarm fire. More than 60 firefighters from Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Mesa responded.

It took fire crews more than an hour to knock down the flames.

One big concern for firefighters was that they had no idea what was in the burning storage units.

"The way people store materials, it could be anything," said Michael Reichling of the Tempe Fire Department.

At this point, it's not clear how the fire started.

"It could be a spontaneous combustion issue with different materials," Reichling said. "It could be a reaction between chemicals stored together. It could have been somebody setting the fire. We dont' know until we get in and take a look at it."

Firefighters had to cut holes in the roofs in an attempt to vent the units and get water inside.

Storage Solutions tenants were starting to arrive at the facility Thursday morning to determine if their units were involved in the fire. There are about 900 units on the property.

There were no injuries reported as a result of the blaze.