RINGTOWN BOROUGH, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WOLF) — More than 25 fire companies from four counties battled a three-alarm fire at a beer distributor in Ringtown Thursday afternoon.
The fire broke at around 3:15 p.m. at the Valley Beverage on the 400 block of West Main Street.
The Ringtown Valley Fire Chief tells FOX56 a female employee was inside when the fire started, but made it safely. No one was hurt.
Crews from Schuylkill, Luzerne, Northumberland, and Columbia County were called in to help.
"We did have manpower issues at first, that's why we went so many alarms and had so much help from a variety of counties within the area here," said Joe Gilbert, the Ringtown Valley Fire Chief.
Aleta Harrington, the owner of Valley Beverage, got to the scene shortly after the fire started.
"I don't have a plan at the moment. I am still a little in shock. I am just thankful that no one was injured and everyone got out of the store safely," said Harrington.
Officials said there were canisters of Carbon Dioxide inside keeping the beer cold, but making matters worse when it came to the fire.
"There was some CO2 canisters that were actually popping off in the middle of the fire. You could here some pretty audible explosions during the fire," said Officer Mark O'Hearn, with the Ringtown Borough Police Department.
"When they started exploding, it actually pushed the fire to the front of the building toward the office," said Chief Gilbert.
Water supply was also low.
"We opened too many hydrants in one area at one time and the physics will tell you that the hydrants the furthest away are going to have less water than the hydrants closest to the tank," said Chief Gilbert.
Tankers set up at two dams nearby so they could pull water from there to put out the flames.
'"That's one of the reasons that they do activate the Tanker Task Force. Just to ensure that there's an adequate amount of water," said Officer O'Hearn.
It took about an hour to get the fire under control.
The building is a total loss.
FOX56's Katie Byrne will have more details. Stay with FOX56 for updates.