Witnesses heard paint cans explode from inside Gulfport Hardware Thursday night. Two Gulfport Police Officers were on a routine patrol on Gulfport Boulevard when they spotted the flames around 8:30 p.m.
As of 11 p.m. Gulfport Blvd was blocked off to traffic as firefighters continued to sift through the business and put out hot spots with a water cannon 50 feet in the air.
The owner, David Cretella, has been accounted for according to his son David. The fire happened after hours and David says his father was at home.
The owner's son, David, says his father has had Gulfport Hardware for about 6 to 7 years.
"It's terrible that it happened. Everything can be replaced, I'm just glad he's alright," David, the owner's son, said.
As far as he knows, no one was inside. However, officials have not released details about injuries or casualties as of 11 p.m. Thursday night.
Stay with Gulfport Patch for updates about this story.