A fire in the Mapunapuna industrial area caused an estimated $5.5 million in damages to businesses Tuesday night, fire officials said.
But an official with ABC Supply Co., which sustained most of the damage, said Wednesday it could have been much worse.
The building supply company, 749 Mapunapuna St., had damages of $5.45 million, said fire spokesman Capt. David Jenkins. The fire caused $50,000 damage to neighboring structures, including Safety Systems’ Shoring Division, he said.
ABC Supply General Manager Jack Miller said firefighters stopped the fire from damaging an ABC Supply structure housing building supplies and also a large propane tank.
“The firefighters did a great job of minimizing the fire,” Miller said.
The flames could be seen for miles and the fumes drifted as far as several hundred yards away, observers said.
Miller said ABC Supply’s telephones and business services at Mapunapuna have been rerouted to its warehouse facilities in Campbell Industrial Park.
Company employee Jesse Ervin said he was close to helping to close the business when he saw the fire and called for help.
Firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to a third structure.
“The fire truck came just in time to save the building,” Ervin said.
Some 70 firefighters fought the blaze and helped to bring it under control about three hours after receiving the call at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.
It took until 3:07 p.m., nearly 21 hours after the fire began, to fully extinguish the blaze.
Jenkins said two of the three warehouses on the property were in danger of collapsing because of the fire damage. That hampered efforts to extinguish smoldering debris in the buildings.
The Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials unit investigated the fire and determined no hazardous materials were released.
Jenkins said the cause of the fire was under investigation.