Shreveport fire crews extinguish blaze at downtown high-rise


Shreveport firefighters have extinguished a blaze at the United Mercantile Bank building at the corner of Texas and Market Street.

According to Shreveport Fire Chief Fred Sanders, the fire started around 7:15 p.m.

The blaze was sparked, according to Chief Sanders, as a work crew in the building used a power tool.

He says the heat from the tool scorched some wood on the 10th floor, and the fire spread.

“With that cutting torch, they burned some wood,” said Chief Sanders, “It started to smolder and cause a fire. But it did smolder and create a lot of smoke, so units are here now and there were eight workers who got out safely.”

Over 35 units from the Shreveport Fire Department were quickly on scene and the fire was under control in just over an hour.

No one lives inside the building, fire officials say, as it is in the process of being transformed into an apartment complex.

NBC 6 News crews at the scene report a portion of the roadways around the building remain closed to traffic.  

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