MERCER (KDKA) – A sand blasting company burned to the ground Monday morning in Mercer County.

The fire broke out at Rodgers Sand Blasting Company in the 500-block of Butler Pike in Mercer around 9 a.m. Monday.

“The garage area was well-involved,” Mercer Fire Chief William Finley said. “They started off with a defensive attack with master streams to take the heat out of it, pulled some smaller hand lines to establish a water supply and we handled things from there.”

The company does a lot of sandblasting and painting work, so there were a lot of chemicals inside the building when it burst into flames.

“Diesel fuel, gasoline, I mean everything you could explain that could be combustible is in the building,” Jesse Wasser, an employee, said.

The building was a total loss.

“I guess there was an electrical fire and it caught a bucket of paint thinner on fire,” Wasser said.

“We’re still trying to identify everything that was in there – I know there was some paint products in there and it’s a sandblasting facility so there could have been some oils and so forth in there for some of the equipment they run,” Finley said. “And some of the explosions that were heard may have been drums of sand when they pressurized in the heat.”

Everyone got out safely. The investigation is ongoing.


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