Firefighters battle 2nd-alarm fire in downtown Phoenix

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Phoenix firefighters got out of the way just in time, minutes before a portion of this burning building collapsed right on to the sidewalk they were standing on.

A short time later, a part of the roof on the south side of the building came tumbling down.

"It was really crazy," a witness said. "I live down the street. We saw lights, we saw smoke, we thought it was just something small. We got here, I could not believe the size of this thing."

The building is located on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Van Buren. It's empty now, but nearly 30 years ago it housed the administrative offices for the Phoenix Fire Department.

"We saw flames venting through the roof and it collapsed," Capt. Chris Gentry said. "That's when we went defensive. It got bumped to a first-alarm fire and then second-alarm just for man power."

The winds early this morning really weren't helping matters, as all of the smoke that was billowing from the burning building headed right into the rooms of a nearby hotel.

"I came out, I walked up to the gate, I saw it was completely masked, you couldn't really see much, the moke was all blowing this way, I walked back to my room and stayed inside," Ankit Gupta said.

The guests say power was cut off as a precaution so there was none at the hotel.

The ladder trucks that were used to put the fire out kept up the fight until the last of the flames and smoke faded late this morning.