Pallet fire burns in Phoenix

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX – A large fire broke out Saturday afternoon at an industrial yard in the area of 43rd Avenue and Southern.

Wind and wood quickly fueled the flames which spread through stacks of pallets and threatened neighboring businesses within the same property.

"I saw people screaming and running," said Juan Morales, who owns M Trucking Service across the street.

He told 3TV he called 911 and rushed over to help the people and several horses on property, "Rodriguez Pallets."  Morales says no one was hurt, but he had to open the gates to get the horses to safety.

While firefighters surrounded the flames, the horses roamed the property next door, A-1 Diesel.

"We had water buckets for the horses; they were eating all the grass," said Gene Bloch, owner of A-1 Diesel.

The flames burned dangerously close to his trucks.

"I moved the trucks that I had keys for," said Bloch.

However, Bloch said he wasn't too worried. He commended firefighters for their speed in surrounding the fire and preventing its spread.

As crews remain on scene Saturday night, Maricopa County Sheriff's Office will assist in the investigation.  Crews are still assessing the damage. Witnesses believe a trailer may have burned. The property that burned housed several buildings and many obstacles for firefighters.

"We're worried about electrical lines, compressed gasses, fuels, oils; that's a real concern for us," said Phoenix Fire Captain Jonathan Jacobs.

However, almost as quickly as it started, crews contained the blaze. 

Witness Juan Morales says he's thankful no people or pets were hurt.

"It means a lot to me," said Morales.  "Whoever is in danger, I have compassion to help."

Authorities advised everyone who lives east of the blaze to stay inside Saturday evening and keep their doors and windows closed.