Fire, explosions destroy Lancaster County billiards shop

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Flames and explosions destroyed a 10,000 square foot building in Manor Township, Lancaster County early Thursday morning. A large part of the building housed Billiards Plus, a pool table sales and repair shop.

Billiards Plus Owner Lance DeVaul has a lot to deal with. A phone call in the middle of the night woke him up to tell him his business was on fire. He’s still getting phone calls, but now they’re from customers asking about their pool tables.

“Yes I remember that,” he told one customer. “That’s crisperized right now.”

Blue Rock Fire and Rescue Chief Duane Hagelgans said the fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. Witnesses reported hearing four small explosions inside the building. Hagelgans said those were from a truck inside the building holding propane tanks. No one was hurt, but it made for a very dangerous situation for firefighters.

“The issue with propane explosions like that is that it’s like any other explosive,” he said. “So you have shrapnel, when it blows up, you have the metal shrapnel from the tank can go and it can obviously hurt or injure firefighters.”

With the fire out, DeVaul looks to salvage anything from inside, but he’s not optimistic. He estimates there were more than 50 pool tables, 400 cues and countless supplies inside.

“The smell is always there, the soot,” he said. “Some of the finishes were melted off, so it’s like total destruction.”

DeVaul rents the space in the building. He hopes to find another location and get back to business, which he moved from New York seven years ago. But at this point, he doesn’t know when.

“This is devastating right now,” he said.

A state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.