By Marty Griffin

ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) – Firefighters battled an early morning industrial fire in Beaver County, and now we’ve learned that the blaze may have been intentionally set.

Smoke poured out of the building on Steel Street in the Aliquippa Industrial Park around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

KDKA’s Marty Griffin Reports:

Firefighters were initially kept out of the building because of several small explosions and extreme heat.

They were eventually able to get inside and knock the fire down.

Sources tell KDKA’s Marty Griffin that the fire is suspicious; and as the investigation progresses, early evidence shows that the fire may have been started in two or three different places in the building.

“It could possibly, very well be arson,” Aliquippa Fire Chief David Foringer.

One side of the building has major outside damage. Then, there’s a large gap showing little damage, and then further down the structure, even more damage.

It was difficult to get water throughout the building because of the large size of the fire.

There were no smoke alarms in the building, and the first calls to firefighters came in an hour after the fire started.

“They were hit with, immediately upon entry, some explosions,” said Chief Foringer. “We had propane cylinders attached to trucks and they were exploding down there. We had to back up because of that.”

Firefighters from about a dozen departments battled the blaze in frigid conditions.

KDKA’s Marty Griffin Reports:

One department brought in a warming station.

The building housed two businesses- Master Halco, a wholesale fencing contractor, and Metalwerks, a melting and processing company.

It’s not clear how many employees will be affected.

The shell of the building still stands. An engineer will determine if it is structurally sound.

“Somebody did this,” said Jeff Zlatovich, a witness. “There’s no… I mean this place was shut down for two, three days because of the holidays.”

The damage inside is extensive.

KDKA’s Trina Orlando Reports:


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