PA , Allentown - Meat-Packing Plant Damaged as Fire Sweeps Through Structure : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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Title: City meat-packing plant damaged as fire sweeps through structure

High-flying flames burn the Trio Provisions building. Electric transformer blows a fuse, sparks, chasing spectators.


Meat-packing plant damaged in blazeA stubborn fire that sent flames shooting 30 or 40 feet into the air damaged an Allentown meat-packing plant Sunday, fire officials said.

The fire broke out about 9:30 p.m. in the anchor structure of a complex of attached buildings at 948 N. Front St. The complex reportedly housed Trio Provisions and Seafood.

Firefighters were on the scene for hours fighting the blaze, the cause of which had not been determined early this morning. No one was hurt, fire officials said.

Damage appeared to be extensive, said Deputy Fire Chief Richard Lanshe. Faced with falling debris, firefighters decided to attack from the outside, he said.

The complex, constructed of stone and wood frame, comprises six sections, most built about 30 years ago. Two additions were completed eight years ago, said owner Jack Schuch.

The main structure -- where the fire was thought to begin -- is at least two stories high and about 75 feet by 90 feet, fire officials said.

An aerial hose poured water on the high-flying flames.

Lanshe said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The blaze drew a crowd. But about 20 people who stood near a transformer on Front Street across from the complex quickly dispersed when the utility pole began sputtering.

"Yo! I'm going home! Forget all you people! I'm going home!'' one woman shouted as she hurried away.

A police officer noted wryly that officers had been trying all night to move spectators from that area.

After the sputtering, a PPL Utilities employee trained a flashlight beam on the pole, which buzzed and sparked a few minutes later.

PPL officials later explained that the fire caused a short circuit inside the complex, which caused the transformer to blow a fuse.


-- (, April 03, 2000

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