NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans firefighters fear a building that caught fire Friday morning could collapse.
It happened on Basin Street near N. Villere in Treme.
The flames are gone, but firefighters are still on the scene because there is concern that the back wall of the building could collapse. It is right next door to Bertha's bar and restaurant.
At its height, it took more than 50 firefighters to extinguish the three alarm fire. Two people and a dog living in an apartment inside the building had to be rescued.
A rear wall of the building has bowed out and that's what firefighters fear could trigger a collapse.
A contractor who was working on the building at the time told firefighters he thinks he caused the fire. The owner of Bertha's says the contractor told her he was replacing gas lines in the building and then saw flames. While the flames didn't spread to Bertha's, the business suffered heavy smoke and water damage.
"I've been between both places 20 years and the thing about it, how hard I worked here. I'm here day and night and to lose what you have when you worked hard, I just don't understand," said restaurant owner Bertha Bradley.
Despite the contractors admission, firefighters say they'll do a thorough investigation to determine how the fire started. Basin Street is still shut down from Claiborne to Marais Street.