WILTON MANORS, FLA. (WSVN) - Firefighters worked hard to put out a fire in Wilton Manors.

The fire broke out at a building near Northeast 15th Avenue and 26th Street, at around 3:55 a.m., Wednesday.

Wilton Manors Police spotted the fire and reported it to fire officials.

Fire rescue crews could be seen dousing the flames with water.

At least 25 units and 75 firefighters responded to the scene.

Cellphone video sent to 7News showed the high flames that engulfed the building.

“I can say, in probably the last 20 years, it’s the largest fire that has happened in the town of Wilton Manors,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Gollan. “We requested assistance from the state’s fire Marshal’s office and the ATF.”

Police said the building was once a church but has been abandoned for years.

The owner of the building said it was set to be demolished in a few weeks, but at one point, they did have issues with members of the homeless community living inside.

“We just want to make sure everyone’s OK and nobody got hurt,” said Larry Baum, the owner of the building. “We’ve had a homeless situation in the past. A lot of homeless people have been living in and out, so we had to board the building, and that’s one of the reasons we’re gonna be demolishing it, because it’s creating a problem for the neighbors and the city.”

Micheal Dane lives behind the abandoned church and said development plans for the property has become the main source of tension between the property owner and the members of the homeowners association.

“It smelled like fish and smells fishy,” said Dane. “I’m pretty sure the fire marshal should do an investigation to determine if it was arson or it truly was an accidental fire.”

The fire was put out by lunchtime and crews took down the building piece by piece.

Nobody was hurt or found inside the building during a last check.

Some firefighters remained at the scene just in case any hotspots pop up.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Copyright 2022 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox