INDIANA (KDKA) – Flames lit up the night sky in Indiana County, when a building at a shale drilling company caught fire overnight.
The blaze was so intense it took about five fire companies to put out the flames and now the investigation focuses on how it all started.
Heaps of metal are the only thing visibly left behind after this fire. Fire Chief Charles Kelly said there was no other option than to tear down the walls left standing to make sure the fire was out.
A neighbor couldn’t believe it when he saw flames rolling out of the building next door.
Just after 4 a.m., a smoke alarm sent fire crews out to Northeast Energy.
“We had heavy black smoke showing from just about every place you wanted to look,” Kelly said.
Knowing no one was inside, crews fought the fire from the outside.
The chief said the building was being used as a maintenance garage, but on the company’s website, they also said they’re involved in Marcellus Shale drilling, excavating and well servicing.
Other than gas supplying heat, though, there were no wells or gas stored inside the building
“Well, there’s always concern in a commercial building. Natural gas, but what’s inside. And sometimes we don’t always know what’s inside,” Kelly said. “The biggest concern is the safety of our people operating the scene, to make sure we all go home safe.”
With the flames mostly out, excavators were brought in. The roof had collapsed on the building and the still standing walls were a hazard.
There were no injuries to any employees or firefighters.
“We have a couple excavators in here. We’re going to have to start pulling the walls down and pull it apart. The roof came in on it. So we want to try and get it out. We’re going to put it out while we’re set up,” Kelly said.
State Police were called in to try and determine exactly how this fire started.