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Massive fire at Phoenix supermarket causes roof collapse, no injuries reported

Posted at 9:16 PM, Jul 11, 2018

Officials say crews have control of a massive three-alarm fire at a Phoenix supermarket. 

The fire was reported in the back room of a north Phoenix Safeway store just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday. An employee of the store had reportedly called 911.

No injuries have been reported in the blaze and fire officials say, "it’s too early to determine the cause of the fire or if weather played a factor in the roof collapse."

PHOTOS: Huge blaze rips through Phoenix Safeway

As crews arrived on the scene, they made a "fast aggressive" attack on the fire and began search and rescue operations while they cleared the store of employees and shoppers. 

Fire officials say during this time, a section of the roof collapsed which forced crews to pull back. 

Helicopter footage showed huge flames and thick smoke spreading across the roof of the grocery store. Footage from the Arizona Department of Transportation showed the plume of smoke visible from several miles away. 

After establishing an "all clear," firefighters then worked in a defensive strategy using several large water streams from elevated ladders to fight the fire and protect surrounding businesses connected to the store.

No additional businesses were affected by the fire, officials said. 

Firefighters remained at the scene throughout the night containing hotspots. 

Spencer McClure said he was inside the Safeway as smoke started filling the back of the store. 

"I was trying not to panic," he said. "At the same time I was thinking, 'I think something really bad is about to happen.'"

McClure used his cell phone to record video, showing big rain puddles caused by the store's sprinkler system, worried there could be an electrical fire. 

He says as many as 30 customers were inside at the time. Within minutes, there was an emergency announcement made over the intercom and employees got everyone out safely.