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The Latest: Roof collapse may have led to supermarket fire

July 12, 2018
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A three-alarm fire gutted a Safeway supermarket in west-central Phoenix during a monsoon storm Wednesday evening. Authorities were trying to determine if the building was struck by lightning. No injuries were immediately reported. (July 12)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on a Phoenix supermarket fire (all times local):

10 a.m.

The Phoenix Fire Department is investigating whether an accumulation of water from rainstorms led to a fire that destroyed a supermarket, sending flames high above the building after it was evacuated when the fire was first reported.

Fire Capt. Fire Rob McDade says investigators are looking into the possibility that a partial roof collapse in the back of the store broke a gas line and damaged the main electrical box, starting the fire that destroyed the store Wednesday evening.

McDade says there may have been an accumulation of water on the store’s flat roof from a microburst that dropped heavy rain in the area before the fire as well as from previous storms this week.

No injuries were reported.


8 a.m.

Investigators were looking into whether a deluge from a possible microburst caused the roof collapse of a Phoenix supermarket gutted by a fire that sent flames high above the building.

Customers in the store were already being evacuated by store employees Wednesday evening when firefighters arrived and went to the back to begin fighting the fire.

But Fire Capt. Rob McDade said firefighters quickly had to retreat out of the store when the roof began collapsing on them.

McDade said no injuries were reported.

More than an inch of rain fell in a 45-minute span near the store on 35th and Northern avenues before the fire.

Crews from the Glendale and Phoenix fire department battled the blaze for hours after it broke out around 6 p.m.

Update hourly