Fire crews battle huge fire in Gilbert - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Fire crews battle huge fire in Gilbert

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Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012 3:37 pm | Updated: 9:23 pm, Sun Jul 8, 2012.

Firefighters from across the East Valley were battling a massive fire about 3 p.m. Monday near Country Club Drive and Baseline Road.

The fire is in an industrial area of Gilbert at Farnsworth Wholesale, a plumbing equipment and supply company. Multiple propane tanks exploded in the building and a neighbor reported the blasts could be heard a mile away.

More firefighters were called to the scene than in most other incidents because the intense heat was requiring them to rotate out more often. Units responded from Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe and Mesa, said Gilbert Fire Capt. Mark Justus.

"It's very hot, the hottest day we've had so far this year," Justus said. "The wind's not helping."

He said crews were working to contain the fire to the building where it broke out.

Thick black smoke could be seen from miles away. And traffic was backing up on Country Club heading south toward Elliot Road.

There was no immediate word on how the fire started, or if anyone was injured.

ABC15 was reporting that the Valley was under an ozone health watch Monday and the smoke would worsen those conditions. People in the area of the fire should stay indoors and avoid exposure to the smoke.

NewsTalk 550 KFYI reported on Twitter that road closures include: Baseline between Country Club and McQueen, McQueen between Baseline and San Pedro, and eastbound and westbound ramps on the U.S. 60 at Country Club.

Check eastvalleytribune.com for updates.

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