PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A fire broke out at an abandoned warehouse in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday night.

When fire crews arrived around 9 p.m., they found a large fire at the outside storage area of the vacant warehouse near the area of Second and Buchanan streets.

[WATCH: Vacant downtown PHX warehouse went up in flames]

From a defensive position, firefighters were able to set up massive streams with water hoses to drown out the fire and prevent it from spreading to surrounding buildings.

Phoenix Fire Capt. Danny Gile said he and the crews witnessed a "fire tornado" while extinguishing the flames. He explained how a fire tornado could occur.

"It has to do with wind currents, basically," Gile said. "It was a large volume of fire, and anytime you get that type of heat and velocity and wind current, it can create what we call a 'fire tornado.'"

Gile added that no one was harmed during the fire.

"It's kind of a cool-looking scenario we caught on film, but luckily no one was in or around it," Gile said. "So, no one was injured, and our firefighters were able to get it put out very quickly."

Gile said that from observing the contents that were in the facility, it appeared to be a place where parade floats were made.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Phoenix Fire Department investigators will determine the cause with the help of the Phoenix Police Department, Gile said.


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