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Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 7:34pm
EL PASO (KDBC) — UPDATE #4: Firefighters are still cleaning up after a massive fire destroyed a building in Central El Paso.
People who lived in the surrounding houses had to be evacuated because of the heavy smoke.
It happened at a building housing Brassco Plumbing and Templo Cristiana Church, near Concordia Cemetery.
Witnesses tell News Channel 9 the flames took off in the matter of seconds.
One of the witnesses took cell phone video just seconds after the fire started showing the fire started in the back of the building just after six Sunday evening.
"They started off small before they ended up getting huge,” said Ricardo Bellah, who was driving by when the fire started. “Before you knew it, there was no more roof on that church."
Fire fighters said no one was inside when the fire broke out, but were forced to evacuate nearby homes as heavy winds caused the flames to spread fast.
Nearly 50 firefighters had to force their way into the building, but minutes later the roof started collapsing and they were forced back out.
"When we got in the building, there was heavy fire conditions that pushed firefighters out of the building. We had to fight the fire from outside of the structure," said El Paso Fire Department Deputy Chief Robert Aruizu,
The cause of the fire is now under investigation.
No word yet on how much damage was done, but when News Channel 9 left, the building was nearly gutted.
UPDATE #3: Emergency crews were able to get the fire under control by 8 p.m. Fire officials said a church was also burned along with Brassco Plumbing. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
UPDATE #2: A Local4News crew on the scene of the fire has identified the building burning as Brassco Plumbing.
UPDATE: Fire officials have upgraded the condition of the fire burning in Central El Paso to "Condition 4," meaning crews on the scene have called for backup from firefighters from other parts of the City.
Emergency crews are also now closing off streets in the area.
ORIGINAL STORY: The El Paso Fire Department is on the scene of a building fire in Central El Paso.
Fire crews were dispatched to the 3700 block of East Yandell, near Stevenson, around 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening.
Emergency crews said evacuations were underway.
Stay with Loca4News for updates.