(CNN) – The sound of ammunition exploding inside a Somerset firearms store could be heard as flames tore through it Sunday afternoon.
Thomas Moniz was driving by with friends when he saw the smoke, gray plumes billowing into the sky visible from far and wide.
The calls for the fire at the County Street building came in around 4:30pm in the afternoon. The fire quickly went to three alarms with mutual aid called in from at least eight surrounding municipalities.
Somerset Deputy Fire Chief Paul Parquette said, “Crews tried to make entry into the first floor, but were driven out by the heat and smoke.”
Deputy Chief Parquette noted that there were combustible materials on the building’s second floor, and flames were through the roof.
Dawn Estacio was a tenant in the building, running her custom clothing store out of there until just last week. She explained, “Four years, we moved our last stuff out Monday.”
Estacio said that she moved out because of ongoing electrical problems in the building, and now she feels lucky. She concluded, “Just when you think God doesn’t have your back, think again.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.