Police: Hazardous materials found in Phoenix industrial fire after storm

PHOENIX - Phoenix fire crews continued to monitor an industrial area that went up in flames Thursday night right when a monsoon brought dust, rain and lightning across the Valley.

Officer James Homes with Phoenix police said firefighters returned Friday morning to the industrial complex near 43rd Avenue and Indian School Road and found several unexploded military ordinances.

Holmes said it appears that the investigative team found dozens of cases, or tubes, for explosive ordinances, however, three live explosives were discovered.

Authorities think whomever owned these devices may have bought them through military surplus and did not realize three of them contained live munitions.

Read more: Crews battle fires, traffic hazards after BIG Phoenix storm

Authorities restricted nearby streets from Thursday evening through much of Friday to conduct their investigation. The Phoenix Bomb Squad was called in to verify that the explosives were military grade. Then a team from Luke Air Force Base was called down to handle the explosives.

Holmes said crews were called to the area of 39th Avenue and Indian School Thursday at 8:30 p.m. to a large fire with two structures involved. At some point, there was an explosion in the fire area. Crews from multiple agencies arrived to suppress the fire, he said.

Luis Torres owns one of the businesses that went up in flames, The Appliance Outlet, near 38th Avenue and Clarendon. He says the family business has no choice but to recover. But the family  lost their dog, a pit bull named "Duke," at last night's fire. Torres says Duke died from smoke inhalation. No workers were on the property during the fire.

He says Duke will be missed the most by his kids, both under the age of seven, who would play with him after school at the business.

"We had him for nine years. He was actually a good friend of my kids," said Torres. "They would ride him and pull his hair. He was actually a really good friend."

Holmes said no injuries were reported in the fire. He also said the ordinance has not been officially identified nor has the person, or persons, responsible for purchasing the items.

 

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