INDUSTRY (KDKA) — After losing the town’s maintenance garage, including all its snow plowing equipment in an overnight fire, Industry Borough officials say they are ready to deal with anything Mother Nature throws their way.

Losing every piece of road equipment is a huge hit for the Beaver County borough, and the timing couldn’t be worse.

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Facing a forecast for a possibly wicked winter storm this weekend, Industry watched the maintenance garage on Engle Road, with all its snow-fighting equipment, go up in smoke overnight.

KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports:

“I have no clue what happened, believe me,” said borough road master Paul Dille.

With temperatures dipping into minus digits, water froze as fast as firefighters could pour it on. Men rotated while battling the flames, taking turns warming up in a tent nearby.

“Heavy fire throughout the entire structure, lost a lot of equipment,” said Industry Volunteer Fire Chief Chuck Ward.

The town had about 50 tons of rock salt stored in the facility that went up in flames.

“It’s just totally unbelievable, a fire of that magnitude and everything burned so fast,” Keith Hohenshel, the president of Industry Borough Council, said.

Salt trucks, a pickup truck, new street signs, park equipment, wooden barricades and riding lawn mowers all went up smoke.

“The pickup in the back garage was lost, too,” said Dille.

One of the trucks was nearly new.

Dille got a call from 911 dispatch center around 1:30 a.m. Friday.

“I was like, what? Because I was down there at nine o’clock,” he said.

Dille had stopped by the garage to pay a crew for work on another building.

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“All they had was an extension cord in there, so there was nothing. I unplugged the extension cord,” said Dille.

KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson Reports:

The State Police Fire Marshal is investigating, and the borough is re-grouping.

“I already talked to a guy about buying a brand new truck if I can get it tomorrow,” says Dille.

And about that snowstorm?

Communities near and far have contacted the borough offering assistance. Unity Township and PennDOT have promised to help Industry with rock salt.

PennDOT and Beaver County cover most of Industry’s roads, and what’s left over, Ohioville Borough is ready to lend a hand, according to Jimmy Crappio of that road maintenance department.

“We’re going over all our equipment now making sure everything is up to snuff and go from there,” he said.

Crappio says it’ll add an extra 50 to 60 more miles of clearing Industry’s back road to get the job done.

“We’re going to put a lot of long hours in, but we can handle it,” he said.

Potter, Wayne and Brighton Townships have offered trucks to Industry to help clear the streets of snow after the snowstorm moves in on Sunday.

Fortunately, no one was hurt in the fire, but it’s going to take some time to rebuild and replace all of the damage.

Public Works Building Destroyed By Fire (2/28/14)
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