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Crews From 4 Counties Battle 2-Alarm Fire In Mt. Airy

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Multiple fire departments responded to the scene of a 2-alarm fire in Mount Airy Thursday afternoon.

Crews from Carroll, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery Counties worked to extinguish the flames.

The fire started around 3:15 p.m. and destroyed the building of an old Chevy dealership in the 1000 block of S. Main St.

The 10,000 square foot structure was being used a warehouse.

The blaze was considerably smaller and more contained by 5:30 p.m.

"There was a house over there was melting on it's side. Luckily they weren't home but it's definitely very scary," said Nicole of Mt. Airy.

Sky Eye Chopper 13 Capt. Jeff Long said the crews took a "surround and drown" approach, dumping water on the structure from all sides and allowing the fire to basically burn itself out.

Plumes of black smoke billowed from the structure and was visible for miles.

"We have to wait until it cools down enough. We're going to talk to all the neighbors and get with the owner and determine exactly what was being used what was being stored inside," said Bruce Bouch of the State Fire Marshal's Office.

No word yet on exactly what type of building it is or what caused the blaze.

The flames were so intense that a single family home next door sustained some superficial damage, as well. Capt. Jeff says some of the siding melted off of it.

Firefighters attacked the fire from the top down as part of what's called a 'surround and drown' technique ensuring that all the flames are out inside the building before crews go in to begin their investigation.

"Boom! Boom! And then I was watching from the upstairs window up there and you could just see giant balls of flame shooting up and that's when I started getting nervous," said neighbor Kevin Ciambruschini.

Investigators say they likely won't be able to go into the building until Friday morning until they are certain it is safe to do so.

No injuries have been reported.

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