A short video was available of this fire when it occurred last month. Many people had differing opinions as to what happened. The full video has just been uploaded and it gives us much of the rest of the story. Those on scene believe it was a smoke explosion. Watch and read on… The short version of the video was originally shared on The Fire Critic FB page here.
Video by: Anthony Bendele. Video info: On October 18th, 2015 at 0750 hours our tower (542) was dispatched to a reported working building fire at Sun Re Cheese Factory on Lenker Avenue in the city. Immediately after dispatch the column was visible from the station and we responded with 4. Upon arrival we found a portion of the plant well involved with fire. We immediately set up to go to the roof, however after finding fire had burned through a portion of the roof already, we transitioned into venting horizontally so that we could set up a master stream from the bucket through the windows. After we started master stream operations through the tower, a smoke explosion occurred (8:22 mark of the video). The force of the smoke explosion caused the exterior wall to buckle outwards and a small portion of the roof to collapse just inside the windows. Initially there were disagreements about whether this was a smoke explosion or if a roof collapse caused this incident. However after careful review of multiple videos as well as eye witness accounts from various angles on scene (including chiefs and line officers), it was decided by all that a true smoke explosion occurred. Immediately after this occurred all units were pulled from the building and operations were turned into a defensive mode until control was marked. The truck operated on scene for close to 7 hours until the fire was called out. There were multiple call backs for reported re-kindles, however all turned out to be just steam from the boilers and other areas of the building.
Units on scene:
CHIEFS: 501, 502, 503, 504, 505
ENGINES: 561, 721, 531, 572, Snyder County 9-2, Union County 2-3, Snyder County 7-1, 111, 731, Montour County 63, 521
TRUCKS: 542, 734, 32, Union County 15-1
RESCUES: 735, 552, Snyder County 5-1
SQUADS: 533, 581, 723, 563
More video from the fire: