ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Wednesday’s big warehouse fire in the 3900 block of Park is now under control, but still smoldering, as firefighters pump water on the remaining shell of the building.

The warehouse full of books, styrofoam products and candles, put out a column of smoke that drifted over the city for miles.

Nearby neighbors complain the inside of their homes smell like “chemicals and smoke.”

Phillip Gentry lives a block away, and says the whole thing was quite an ordeal.

“We didn’t get in until about 10 o’clock last light when the electricity came back on,” he says. “The house was still full of fumes, and they asked us not to turn on our furnace, so it was a cold night.”

Rochelle Moore says the inside of her home smells like a bonfire.

“They haven’t given us any information about the chemicals, the quality of the air, nobody has spoken with us about any of that,” she says. “Right now, we’re just kind of waiting to see what goes on.”

A fire truck was demolished when a brick wall collapsed on it, but no firefighters were hurt. One firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation, but he has been released and is said to be “fine.”

A former St. Louis Fire Captain says conditions battling the warehouse fire were so bad — it wouldn’t have taken much for a full blown disaster.

Gregg Favre says the normally gung-ho, brash St. Louis firefighters were subdued Wednesday night — some saying they weren’t sure if they were going to survive the fight.

“I can’t believe I wasn’t killed; I thought three times in an hour I was going to die yesterday,” he says firefighters told him.

Favre says proper ventilation was a big problem because the fire started in the basement.

No word yet on a possible cause.

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