FIFE, Wash. - Crews are gaining control of a building that caught fire early Saturday morning in Fife, will start investigating once it is safe to enter.
According to Tacoma Fire Department (TFD), crews responded to a commercial building fire on the corner of 46th Ave. E. and 12 St. E. at around 3:00 a.m. When crews arrived, heavy flames were clearly visible and growing quickly.
At about 4:00 a.m., the incident commander upgraded the blaze to a two-alarm fire to bring in additional resources. Crews positioned themselves around the perimeter of the building, spraying water from the ground and from the air -- using aerial master streams.
Neighbors estimate the flames were shooting 40-50 feet into the air. The response was massive as the fire tore through the building.
"I heard a couple of big booms," neighbor Mark Pierovich said. "Heard another big boom about 5 minutes later. I went out, looked out my backyard and I just saw these big flames and lots of fire trucks. I've never seen anything like that. It was kind of like a war zone."
According to TFD, crews are gaining control of the flames, and will likely stay on scene for several hours putting out hotspots. Authorities say a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the fire will not begin until the building is safe to enter.
The building has been identified as Omega Morgan, a crane service that works in areas of Oregon, Washington and Alberta. Fire crews say the building is considered a total loss.
Bruce Wienenga, the Regional Safety Manager for Omega Morgan, told FOX 13 News he got a call at about 3 a.m. Saturday from a crane operator who told him fire was ripping through the building.
"They were substantial. We had quite a bit of fuel. It was a mechanic shop. We stored cranes in there, and we worked on our machines and so, we had quite a devastating moment," Wienenga said.
Part of the building used for storage was preserved and unaffected by the fire. People who work for Omega Morgan have been showing up, pulling out pristine boats, cars and other items from that storage area. Meanwhile, the part of the building burned by flames is "gutted", according to fire crews.
Fire crews say the investigation will likely start later today, but a cause will likely not be identified until Sunday.
There are no injuries to report at this time.
This is a developing story.