California Home Depot Is Destroyed by Fast-moving Five-alarm Fire That Was So Big It Could Be Seen From Space

A massive fire led to customers and employees fleeing from a Home Depot in California, sending up a huge plume of smoke that was detected by weather satellites and prompting orders for nearby residents to shelter in place.

The five-alarm blaze broke out at the big-bog retailer in San Jose around 5pm Saturday and took about six hours to contain, with some firefighters remaining overnight to douse embers.

No injuries were reported despite the fast-moving blaze destroying the store.

One man said he drove by the retailer and drove back 15 minutes later only to find that ‘the entire building was engulfed,’ KGO reports.

One employee recalled grabbing a fire extinguisher to try to stop the rapidly raging fire before a coworker advised him not to, telling him, ‘It’s too late,’ according to the Mercury News. He said he felt his lungs burning while he helped others evacuate.

The fire apparently began in the lumber section of the store, but the cause remains under investigation, fire officials say.

It fed on flammable materials and chemicals such as paint thinner, which made it harder to fight, Fire Battalion Chief Brad Cloutier said at a briefing.

Concerns about unhealthy air prompted authorities to order people living nearby to stay inside, close their windows and turn off their air conditioning. Shelter-in-place advisories for nearby residents were lifted on Sunday at 1pm.

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Source: Daily Mail