(BEDFORD) - Bedford Firefighters had a difficult time putting out a fire at Peddler's Corner Wednesday night.
The department was alerted to the blaze at 7:14 p.m.
"We called in an extra shift because we just didn't know what we had," says Fire Chief Jon Wagner. "We had smoke showing in all the areas, upstairs, the main floor and the basement."
Once firefighters got into the building they found the fire was located in the basement area.
The 30-foot by 40-foot area was filled with wooden antiques and other items and was fully engulfed in flames.
"That is when the real problems began," Wagner says. "Once they got the fire knocked down and the smoke cleared we realized the building was about to collapse."
The extensive heat had damaged the pylons and beams and caused the basement floor to drop about 2 inches.
"The roof above the firefighter's heads was concrete and about to fall in on them," Wagner says. "The good Lord was riding on their shoulders protecting those men. As soon as we noticed this the men were ordered out of the building."
Firefighters continued to battle the blaze but from a distance.
"They stubborn it out," Wagner says. "We used a high expansion foam and filled the basement with it and that pretty well put the fire out. But we had a lot of hot spots and had to battle the blaze from afar."
Chief notified Doug Kellams, who came to the scene and gave his advise on the structure's stability.
"He agreeded with me and said the building is unstable."
Firefighters were on the scene until 4:20 am this morning.
"These guys worked hard all night," Wagner says. "We are meeting with the building inspectors and owners Jeff Lambrect and stress the dangers of entering the building."
Wagner says the building is very unstable and could collapse.
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