CASA GRANDE — A large vacant warehouse in Casa Grande near Interstate 10 caught fire Friday afternoon, sending up a plume of smoke visible for miles.
The fire was reported just after 1 p.m. and started with the roof of the large purple building, according to a Casa Grande Police officer on the scene. The former furniture warehouse on Jimmie Kerr Boulevard has been vacant for years and is owned by an interest in Glendale.
The structure is located on the south side of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near a former RV campground. A Union Pacific official was on the scene and the railroad tracks were closed to train traffic. Jimmie Kerr Boulevard, as well as the off-ramp from I-10, were closed in the area at 2:15 p.m.
The Casa Grande Fire Department, along with units from Eloy, Maricopa and Arizona City, were on the scene, as was a Southwest Gas official.
Firefighters did not enter the building and were battling the blaze from only outside the structure. Walls in two sections of the building collapsed within 10 minutes of each other.
The eastern wall next to I-10 was the first to fall. About seven minutes later the north wall followed suit, exposing severe damage inside the building.