Fires burn out of control in New Orleans
Smoke from fires along the waterfront covers the skyline of New Orleans Saturday.
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- Two major fires blackened the skies over New Orleans Saturday, one of them engulfing an industrial stretch on the riverfront northeast of the downtown area and another burning at a fashionable mall.
Thick clouds of black smoke from the Louisa Street Wharf area covered the city skyline Saturday morning, where there was no sign of firefighting efforts to to put out the blaze.
Video showed flames shooting up 50 to 60 feet in the air as the warehouse appeared to be burn out of control.
One reporter said the smell was "heavy, thick and tar-rish."
Witnesses said the fire apparently was started in a timber pile. Fears are the blaze could spread from warehouse to warehouse.
Meanwhile, Ten fire companies, comprised of four firefighters each, were battling a blaze at the upscale The Shops at Canal Place, a New Orleans mall at the base of Canal Street and near the Aquarium of the Americas. (See the fires rage in New Orleans -- 5:05)
Fire companies were being aided by four water tankers that had been sent to New Orleans from Mississippi
Firefighters told CNN that the building had no electricity and no gas and that the blaze started "under suspicious circumstances." They've given up, they said, because they simply don't have the water and water pressure to win the fight.
Police were on scene watching the building, attached to the Wyndham Hotel, as it burned.
CNN's Carey Bodenheimer said Saks 5th Avenue appeared to be the main source of the fire, with "black smoke pouring from the ventilation system."
Nine stockpiles of fire-and-rescue equipment strategically placed around the country to be used in the event of a catastrophe still have not been pressed into service in New Orleans, CNN has learned.
Department of Homeland Security spokesman Marc Short said Friday the gear has not been moved because none of the governors in the hurricane-ravaged area has requested it. (Full story)
CNN's Jeff Koinange, Nic Robertson and Carey Bodenheimer contributed to this report.
|© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.