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Bedford business catches fire

Employees escape without any injuries

More than a dozen fire companies battle a blaze at the Bedford Valley Petroleum distribution center along Route 30 between Bedford and Everett on Thursday. All employees at the scene were able to evacuate safely. The fire closed Route 30 for a time. Courtesy photo

More than 150 firefighters from about 15 fire companies battled an industrial fire at Bedford Valley Petroleum on Thursday afternoon.

Crews were dispatched about 3 p.m. to the site along Route 30, between Bedford and Everett, where the business offices, along with propane and other fuel tanks are located.

As heavy fire and thick black smoke filled the air, firefighters used hand lines and ladder trucks to pour water on the flames.

Tankers were called to shuttle water to the fire scene, according to the Freedom Township Volunteer Fire Company Facebook page, which stated all three of the fire company’s tankers were at the scene.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to onsite tanks, officials said, and all employees escaped the flames uninjured.

Smoke could be seen for miles and Route 30 was closed to through traffic between the Walmart Plaza and the Lutzville Road exit as firefighters worked at the scene.

According to WTAJ reports, Bedford County EMA Director Dave Cubbison said that no damage was done to the environment as the propane tanks were not struck by the fire; however, there are residents who depend on Bedford Valley Petroleum for heating.

The McDonald’s at the nearby Walmart plaza gave firefighters coffee and food as they worked in freezing temperatures.

“Anytime there is a large community event, any sort of outpouring especially in these conditions is appreciated,” Cubbison told reporters.

Bedford County fire crews were joined by those from Fulton, Blair and Cambria counties.

Later Thursday evening, firefighters said the fire was believed to be electrical in nature.

According to its website,

Bedford Valley Petroleum & Propane offers petroleum products including propane, fuel, lubricants, kerosene and heating oil.

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