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3 acres burn at distillery

April 07, 1998|By DON AINES

WILLIAMSON, Pa. - Firefighters from six companies were called out Monday afternoon to battle a brush fire that scorched about three acres at an abandoned distillery Monday afternoon in St. Thomas Township.

"It was going to town. That's why we had to call out the additional brush trucks," St. Thomas Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Tom Bigler said at the scene. The former Seagram's plant is off Bullett Road.

Bigler said the fire was called in at 2:18 p.m. Firefighters were at the scene for about three hours, he said.

According to Bigler, a demolition crew was tearing down buildings at the plant "and I guess they figured they could burn some of the wood up."

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The wind caught the flames and started the brush fire in a field adjacent to the concrete pad on which they were burning the debris, he said.

Mike Patterson, normally an ambulance driver, was spraying a hose over the smoldering piles of debris.

"From St. Thomas you could see the smoke," said Patterson.

"With all the tar paper and building materials, it'll take a lot of water to wet it down," Bigler said of the fire. A township front-end loader was brought in to spread out the piles of burning junk.

Bigler said two firefighters were treated at the scene for minor injuries after both stepped on nails.

Engines, brush trucks and tankers from Greencastle, Marion, Mercersburg, Waynesboro and the Franklin Fire Co. in Chambersburg assisted at the scene. Bigler estimated about 75 firefighters responded to the fire.

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