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June 20, 2014

2nd fire in 3½ years hits Valley wood biz

HERNDON — Static electricity may have sparked a fire that damaged a silo containing wood shavings at Herndon Reload Co., which Thursday experienced its second blaze since January 2011.

Tanker trucks from at least three of the nine responding companies raced to the scene near Route 147, where firefighters deployed a temporary reservoir, Herndon Assistant Fire Chief Ron Hinkley said.

Volunteers quickly brought the blaze under control. No one was injured.

The fire erupted around 5:15 p.m. in one of two silos that hold and dispense wood shavings into trucks, Hinkley said. The cause was undetermined as of late Thursday, though it may have been static electricity inside the silo, Hinkley said. A tractor-trailer with a load of shavings also caught fire, possibly from burning shavings from the silo. That small blaze was quickly contained.

Firefighters hovered above the silo with a hose at the ready while others fed water into the silo, dripping water and shavings underneath into a hopper. The silos were full and hold enough shavings to fill a 110-cubic-yard capacity truck, an employee said.

Herndon Reload is an Amish-owned company, founded in 2005 with about 10 employees, according to Cortera Business Directory.

The incident gave Herndon a chance to put its new tanker, acquired in April, into action, Hinkley said.

“It did great,” he said. “There is no rekindling here.”

Flare-ups happened in January 2011 at the site after the company’s warehouse, loaded with lumber, burned down in a raging fire that some witnesses said saw flames reach nearly 100 feet into the sky.

In some spots, debris smoldered for five days after the blaze, which was accidentally set by two workers using a torch to remove scrap metal inside the building.

The warehouse was the former Creative Playthings plant between Route 147 and Railroad Avenue.

Fire companies assisting Herndon on Thursday were Americus, Hickory Corners, Lower Augusta Township, Lower Mahanoy Township, Pillow, Shamokin Dam, Sunbury and Trevorton.

 

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