Bill Rohrer was on the scene of Saturday evening’s fire in a vacant factory building in Reading, Pennsylvania. Here’s some of what Bill wrote for his newsworking.org site:
19:24 hours, Reading transmitted box 76, Front and Buttonwood, with an address of 2nd and Buttonwood Streets for a factory.
Upon arrival, crews found a 100 x 225 one and three story factory with heavy fire showing. A row of homes sit up against it on 2nd street and were threatened by the blaze.
It appears that the fire started on the north end of the building. That side looked to be a one-story building. The fire extended throughout the complex and eventually extended into the three story building at the Buttonwood Street side.
Within a couple of hours, the three-story warehouse at the corner of Buttonwood and Second was fully-involved. Firefighers saved the rowhomes next to the warehouse on the eastside of Second Street. 3 lines were stretched and operating in the E/O/R and working the attic. Crews stopped the fire in the first home and successfully saved the row of about 10 homes.
The third floor eventually collapsed into the second floor and portions of the wall came down on the street, damaging at least two cars parked below.
Fire crews were called to the former Argo Furniture Co. warehouse in the 200 block of Buttonwood Street just before 7:30 for a fire. No injuries were reported.
Within minutes, the 51,000-square, four-story warehouse was engulfed in flames. Smoke poured out of the building, blown by a steady wind southward past Penn Street.
On Buttonwood Street, the smoke was so thick that it was impossible to see from one end of the block to the other.
Dozens of firefighters from the city and surrounding municipalities battled the blaze, which was still burning almost four hours later. As of 11, the fire was still not under control.