Fire quickly spreads through Orange Mound business

Flames from the blaze gave the sky an eerie glow as firefighters raced to put out the fire.
Flames from the blaze gave the sky an eerie glow as firefighters raced to put out the fire.

(WMC-TV) - Fire quickly spread through a commercial building Tuesday morning in the 300 block of Park Avenue in Orange Mound.

Flames from the blaze gave the sky an eerie glow as firefighters raced to put out the fire.

"When we arrived there was heavy smoke and fire coming from the two story commercial structure," said Lt. Wayne Cooke of the Memphis Fire Department.

Cooke said firefighters tried to battle the blaze from inside the building, but within minutes they were forced to withdraw to safer positions outside.

"Our crews began a interior attack on the structure for several minutes," he said. "Because of the advancement of the fire, we pulled our companies and we went defensive."

Bystanders on the scene said the business belongs to the Silver Star News, a historic Memphis newspaper. The building is also a popular spot for weddings and receptions...

Cooke said burning material inside the building made bringing the fire under control difficult.

"There is a large amount of combustible material on the inside furniture, and other combustible objects," he said.

The way the fire spread was also a threat.

"Because of the advancement to the second floor of this structure, it has been very difficult, and this is why we had to go defensive," Cooke said. "We did not want to put our firefighters in any danger."

Investigators said the fire caused extensive damage to the inside of the building, but no one was injured.

The building did not have a working smoke detector.

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