With assistance from the Long Beach Fire Department, eight trucks and 25 firefighters fought to put the fire out. Firefighters said the fire had the potential to spread quickly...but luckily, it didn't. They say they could see the fire as they left the station.
Saturdy Gulfport fire investigators used cadaver dogs to search the debris for possible victims. Fire Chief Pat Sullivan says that there are homeless people moving throughout this area, and that they've had reports of homeless in the building.
The 101-year-old Merchants building is owned by the charity, Goodwill.