A massive fire ripped through the American Legion Post in the Frankford section of Philadelphia on Memorial Day.
The 4-alarm fire started at the American Legion Post 396 building on 2369 Orthodox Street around 2:45 p.m. Monday. The large flames and smoke that rose from the building were visible to drivers on I-95.
"Just smoke and then there were flames coming out of the roof for awhile," said Francis O'Keefe who lives near the building.
The fire was placed under control at 4:29 p.m. Firefighters still stayed at the location throughout the night to put out hot spots. Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel told NBC10 crews worked quickly to stop the flames from spreading.
"That aggressive attack saved two occupied dwellings in the back of this commercial building," Commissioner Thiel said.
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Commissioner Thiel also said they had to call in firefighters who were initially off due to the holiday.
Officials say one firefighter suffered a minor wrist injury and was taken to the hospital. No other injuries were reported.
Mary Ellen Foley, another resident who lives near the building, told NBC10 she was on her way to a Memorial Day event at the American Legion when the fire took place. Foley wasn't a member but often visited the Post over the past 25 years.
"The crazy thing is we were supposed to be here this afternoon," she said.
Foley was in tears as she thought about the donated uniforms, pictures and medals from veterans that were destroyed in the blaze.
"There are things that just can't be replaced," she said. "I just thank God that none of my friends were hurt."
Residents told NBC10 they are interested in holding a fundraiser for the Post. Meanwhile officials are investigating the cause of the fire.