Firefighters remain on the scene Friday morning of a massive fire at the former United Wiping Cloth Co. factory in Shenandoah.
Calls went out around 3:30 a.m. Friday for a working commercial structure fire at 125 E. Lloyd Street in the borough. When The Canary arrived on scene, more than a dozen fire companies were already there. And as we headed back to the newsroom around 5:30 a.m., reinforcement firefighters were on their way from southern Schuylkill County.
Thick, heavy smoke overwhelmed much of the area surrounding the fire. A stiff wind blew the smoke due south at the scene, making an already dangerous scene for firefighters and residents even more toxic. We couldn’t stand in the down-wind smoke more than 30 seconds before it got difficult to breathe.
Check out this live video from the scene, courtesy of The Shenandoah Sentinel:
As thick smoke filled the air, flames broke out in different sections of the massive former cloth factory. Just before we saw flames shooting out the front of the factory building, at about 4:30 a.m., numerous fire trucks sounded their horns warning firefighters to get out of the building immediately.
Eyewitnesses at the scene tell The Canary that one resident living in an apartment on the upper level of the factory got out safely. This was confirmed by a WNEP-TV report Friday.
Photos: Coal Region Canary