Story and photo by Chris Haldeman
An electrical fire heavily damaged a building Monday evening at High Steel Structures Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Crews from more than a dozen area companies responded to the 8 p.m. fire at plant two, 144 Greenfield Road, for a report of a fire in the building’s main electrical panel.
Arriving firefighters, however, were told not to enter or touch the building.
“There was very violent electrical arcing occurring inside the building,” according to Lafayette Fire Chief Scott Hershey. “So powerful I could feel the vibration outside. The first thing we had to do was cut the power.”
Black smoke also was pouring from the structure’s open overhead doors, he said.
Because of the size of the building and the amount of smoke, Hershey said he upgraded the assignment to a second alarm.
“Plus, I didn’t know exactly what we were going to find inside,” he added.
Once power to the building was shut off, crews had to make their way 600 to 700 feet into the structure to reach the panel.
Hershey said firefighters first used a dry chemical on the blaze which was extinguished in about 15 minutes.
The chief said the cause of the fire wasn’t known Monday night. He said a state police fire marshal will inspect the damage Tuesday.
Hershey said the building has no power and has significant damage to its electrical system. “It’s unusable.”
He said about 20 employees who were working in the building evacuated safely. No injuries were reported.
See more photos from this fire HERE.