INDIANA, Pa. (KDKA) – Nearly one hundred firefighters from 10 companies and two counties rolled into Specialty Tire in Indiana Monday morning.
Indiana Fire Association First Assistant Chief Ron Moreau described the scene: “Lots of heavy black smoke.”
The picture from Indiana Fire Association shows the issue from the outside. Visibility inside the nearly 100-year-old building was a problem, as was what was once stored there.
“You have a facility like this, you have a lot of different chemicals, products, gases that are involved,” says Moreau.
“When we got here, the transformer was burning, the breakers were blowing — lots of excitement with electric.”
As the fire burned inside, firefighters on the cement roof were essentially standing on something akin to a giant baking stone.
Firefighters from around Indiana County battle high temperatures and heavy smoke at a tire production facility in Indiana Boro. Heat inside the building cause the cemwnt roof to become so hot firefighters could feel the heat through their fire boots. pic.twitter.com/0tERLYyIKA
— Ross Guidotti (@RossGuidotti) June 22, 2020
“They were feeling the heat through their boots,” says Moreau.
The last few days have been sweltering. The building where the fire broke out on a normal day is incredibly hot.
“Even on any given day when there’s no fire, it’s 110 degrees in there when you are making tires,” says Moreau.
The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical in nature. The company was preparing for its yearly shutdown to retool, which may be extended due to fire damage. The company employees 350 people.
“Everyone is out of the building. All our guys are good, very fortunate considering what could have been a bad day.”