CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa.-- One Vitro Architectural Glass employee was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after a 3-alarm fire that occurred at the glass manufacturing plant in South Middleton Township.
Vitro Architectural Glass shut down for hours before reopening and allowing employees inside for the 7 p.m. shift, according to officials. Park Drive, where the plant is located, was shut down for hours too.
Township officials told FOX 43 they were concerned as the plant is one of the largest employers in South Middleton Township.
Crews were dispatched shortly before 10:30 to the 400 block of Park Drive and evacuated the area around the the plant, which was formerly owned by PPG Industries.
A spokesperson told FOX43 that the plant is now owned by Vitro Architectural Glass. The Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) plant manufactures flat glass for use in residential and commercial construction markets, according to its website.
Firefighters from six counties, and 42 engines total, responded and heavy black smoke could be seen for several miles around the area.
All employees were accounted for and sent home, a spokesperson said. The plant was temporarily shut down.
Township Supervisor Tom Faley says it was a furnace fire. The workers were cleared from the building because there were fears of an explosion, but officials since have said they have not confirmed that. There is no community evacuation.
Vitro Architectural Glass released the following statement:
"A glass leak was discovered on one of two glass melting furnaces at Vitro’s float glass plant near Carlisle, PA. The local fire department responded and no injuries have been reported. The extent of the damage is not yet known. Company officials are assessing the situation and will have more information when it is available."
Cumberland County Communications Director Rachel Bryson said the fire was contained to the glass melting furnace that leaked glass, causing the fire.
The fire was extinguished sometime before 4 p.m.
The PPG Industries building had an OSHA inspection about a year ago and as of July 19, 2016, there were no violations discovered.
However, according to the OSHA reporting website, in December 2013, the plant was inspected after a complaint and fined for three serious violations.
The violations were in the category of “Safety Training and Education”, “Requirements for Protective Systems” and “Ladders”. PPG Industries was initially fined $17,300, but that was later reduced to $13,300.
In 2013 OSHA also found a violation in the category of “Specific Excavation Reequipments” but did not face any fine for that violation.