TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A thick black plume of smoke pouring off a fire in Tempe could be seen for miles Wednesday afternoon.

Interim Assistant Chief Andrea Glass of the Tempe Fire Department confirmed that it was a fire at a building under construction in the area of Scottsdale Road and the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway.

[WATCH: 100+ firefighters battle huge fire at building under construction in Tempe]

It eventually grew to a second-alarm fire, which calls in more resources for the fire departments battling the flames. About 100 firefighters were on scene. 

"We saw the plume from the station. As soon as this thing kicked out we saw it and I gotta tell you our heart dropped a little bit," said David Fabok, lead fire inspector for Tempe Fire Department.

[WATCH: Tempe FD says they 'dodged a bullet' by containing fire at construction site]

Fire officials say that initial reports indicate that this fire was caused when roofing materials sparked at a construction site.

[RAW VIDEO: Huge fire breaks out at construction site in Tempe]

"Braces were being welded to the metal decking causing the foam roof to ignite and spread to the available roofing materials staged on the roof," Glass said.

She said the fire was contained to the roof next to the parking garage.

"We have the metal pan decking that was being welded underneath it, then they had a foam membrane, then they had pallets with roofing material, tar paper, probably tar--we're not real sure what was up there but we know there was a lot of it, we definitely had a sufficient fuel supply up there," Fabok said. 

[PHOTOS: Second-alarm fire in Tempe]

Arizona's Family first spotted the smoke plume on an ADOT camera in the area. The camera also showed police closing that exit off the Loop 202.

No one was injured in the fire.

"We come outside and the whole sky is just black. We could see flames coming through the smoke, we could feel the heat from here, it was easily 125 degrees," said Torian Smith, who works next door to the construction site. 

"There was one police vehicle over here and then just everyone yelling, screaming, running around, it all happened really quick. It was fine and then it just wasn't," said Barry Kirk, who also works in the area.  

According to the Department of Public Safety, both eastbound and westbound off-ramps for Scottsdale Road at the Loop 202 will be closed until about 6 p.m.

Refresh this page for the latest on this developing story.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



Recommended for you

(13) comments


Mexican labor what you expect ?


The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.

We don’t need no water let the m*$*@#$+er burn.

Burn m@#)&-=$er burn!


Okay- do you have a point?


over your head, son.


Well, would you condescend to explain- Dad?

Jess Itsme

Glad to read that NOBODY got hurt... Minimum of an unpaid suspension for the "Supervisor" in charge sounds about right to me. WHO in the heck does any type of HOT work without a proper firewatch!?? The lives of many people were put at risk just because of somebody's STUPIDITY! [angry]


NAW no biggy F downtown Tempe let it all burn.

Tony G

I meant to add that many of these immigrants work in the construction field


Your expertise is needed elsewhere.


I am not calling that roofer , so news az why dont you say who roofer is , in love with them or something . No voy a llamar a ese techador, así que por qué no dices quién es el techador, enamorado de ellos o algo así.[censored]

Tony G

These construction companies need tighter safety practices to prevent these incidents from occurring. They just are not always that careful. Unfortunately, with the amount of immigrants coming to the United States from Mexico, they are not always trained in proper safety procedures as their country does not practice them.


So- as usual, you blame people who you suspect came from Mexico? Wow, that's some careful analysis. How much information do you have? Do you take any responsibility for yourself? Or are all your problems some entire group's fault?



Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.