GREEN BAY - Green Bay fire officials say a west side warehouse is a loss after a fire tore through the building.
No one was hurt in the fire which broke out just after 11:00 at 2325 Hutson Road Thursday morning.
Fire crews from five area municipalities helped battle the blaze which was mostly out by around 1:30 p.m.
Streets were shut down around the area, and 75 firefighters were on scene during the fire.
Green Bay Fire Lt. Nick Craig said thick, black smoke was billowing out of the warehouse as firefighters arrived on scene.
Craig told FOX 11, when the blaze started, five people were inside the building, including the owner, Gary Fairchild.
Fairchild said he recently bought the building for the future growth of his company, Fairchild Equipment.
The 17,000 square foot building was mostly empty, but had some cars in it and office space.
Fairchild said he and the others were working on cleaning it out.
That's when a worker using a cutting torch sparked the blaze.
"One of the guys I hired was cutting a leg of an overhead thing that we didn't want, and he got close to something that was obviously very flammable. And I'm telling you within three to four seconds it was engulfed, and within 30 seconds the place was black smoke," said Fairchild.
"This fire is what's called a defensive fire. So we're fighting the fire from the outside, not committing any of our firefighters inside, because the unknown, uncertainty of what is actually burning in there. So right now, we're protecting exposures to buildings and businesses that are next to this building so they don't catch on fire," said Green Bay Fire Lt. Nick Craig.
Firefighters remained on scene into the afternoon to keep an eye on things and put out any hot spots.
When, and if, the building is deemed safe, the fire marshal will go inside and investigate.
The property is worth more than $400,000.
Fairchild said he does have insurance.
Stay logged onto fox11online.com and watch FOX 11 News at Five for updates on this story.
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