CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - It took more than 60 firefighters nearly an hour and half to get a three alarm fire under control in NoDa.
The scene along Louise Avenue has been covered in flashing lights all night. There are 3 businesses inside the massive 75,000 square foot building where the fire broke out.
Firefighters say the alarms went off, and the employees followed their evacuation plan and got out unharmed.
"It's kind of unbelievable. I kind of thought there was an explosion or just I don't know what it was, but I didn't think anything was in that building and apparently there is,” Rachel Miller told FOX 46.
Around 5:30 p.m. firefighters responded to a fire alarm at a warehouse in the 1000 block of Louise Avenue. When they arrived smoke was pouring from one side of the building but the size of the building meant more firefighters were needed.
"The sprinkler system activated inside the building and actually held the fire in check until firefighters could stretch lines in which was approximately 300 feet into the structure,” Charlotte Fire Battalion Chief Joshua Johnson said.
Firefighters say employees had already evacuated before they arrived, but checking the businesses was still a priority.
"On a structure this size the first and most important thing is making sure everyone's out in case there was anyone working here and the second is we call in additional resources quickly,” said Johnson.
Neighbors trying to get home were rerouted and were concerned the fire could spread.
"It's kind of scary that it sits this close to the house," Miller said.
Firefighters say the sheer size of the building presented challenges but no one was injured. Inside they say there's substantial smoke damage but only moderate fire damage.
"There was zero visibility, you got to worry being about finding the seat of the fire to start with without firefighters getting lost or trapped, that's the most difficult part of it," said Johnson.
So far, firefighters haven't said which business the fire started in. Right now the cause remains under investigation.