It was a scene straight out of the drama series CSI.
With a blazing inferno way too close for comfort, scores of onlookers still gathered by the minute, while firemen fought gallantly for hours to control a blaze in Tudor Street, The City, last night.
The fire at Campus Trendz Clothing Store emitted billowing smoke for almost four hours, which kept firemen and members of the Coast Guard on bay.
Coast Guard personnel actually entered the burning building on a number of occasions in an attempt to rescue those trapped on the inside.
However, despite use of a turntable ladder and the bravery of the rescue team wearing special suits and in some cases oxygen tanks, six still died.
Reports indicated that the first policeman on the scene rushed in and reported hearing screams, but the thick smoke forced him to retreat.
Firemen early on the scene just after 7 p.m. also faced a number of challenges in getting into the building as they tried to do so from the roof beside the clothing store, but had to retreat because of the intense heat.
The smoke at the one-door entrance, also meant the rescue team had vision challenges.
Rescue officials on location said the first ambulance left with a woman suffering from smoke inhalation and what seemed to have been stab wounds. (ES)