BEAVER TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – It took crews more than two hours to get control of a large fire at a construction company on Wednesday afternoon.
Crews were called to Bolt Construction in the 10000 block of South Avenue in Beaver Township just before 10 a.m.
According to Beaver Township Fire Chief Larry Sauerwein, an employee of Bolt Construction was working in one of the warehouses when he felt heat coming from the corner of the building.
Black smoke could be seen for miles at the height of the fire. Neighbors reported hearing a loud boom.
Chief Sauerwein said crews used about 40,000 to 50,000 gallons of water to fight the flames. While a hydrant was nearby, tanker trucks were called in as well for extra water.
“With two tower trucks in the air, we didn’t feel we had enough water coming from one hydrant for the whole situation, so we started a tanker shuttle from all of our neighbor departments,” he said.
One woman saw the fire as she was driving on South Avenue from North Lima.
“I’ve just never seen that much smoke. Whatever was going on, it was very hot. It was very intense,” said Cynthia Cash, of Columbiana.
Cash said she didn’t hear sirens or see any activity near the building. That’s when she knew she had to call 911.
“Maybe five other people called before me, but I just wanted to be sure that I called because of what I was looking at,” she said.
Crews were faced with an intense fire when they arrived.
“The biggest challenge was worrying about the walls collapsing. We had to keep our distance from the fire, fight it from the outside. We could not get inside to get close to the fire,” said Sauerwein.
He credited the help from neighboring departments for putting out the blaze.
“It says that people are willing to give; they’re willing to take time out of their day, come help us,” he said. “Put their lives on the line to help us in a very bad situation. We could not have done this by ourselves.”
The State Fire Marshal and Sauerwein ruled that the origin of the fire is undetermined, and it would be ruled as accidental.
According to the company’s website, Bolt Construction specializes in the petroleum and natural gas industries, specifically the construction of airport fueling systems, gas compressor stations, gathering systems and bulk storage petroleum piping.
Michael Reiner contributed to this report.