Hundreds of firefighters descended on Schuylkill Haven Thursday night to fight a four-alarm fire.
Officials said the call came in around 6 p.m. that Schuylkill Gun Works was ablaze and powder inside was exploding.
“We’re not sure how many containers of powder exploded. We know of at least three explosions. I’m not sure about the weapons,” said Schuylkill Haven Fire Chief Glenn Sattizahn.
People inside nearby businesses and homes were told to get out as smoke billowed for miles.
“We saw a lot of smoke and a lot of fire trucks trying to take care of the problem,” said Allie Korbeil of Schuylkill Haven.
“I’m very relieved, I just want to hug every firefighter here,” said Robbie Boyer who lives in an apartment near the fire. His place was not affected.
In all, fire officials said about five buildings were affected, most with smoke damage. The back of the gun shop was destroyed.
Victoria Spitler is a high school senior who was as forced from her home but was allowed back inside for her cap and gown.
“I graudate tomorrow and if not, I’m going to be the only one, the odd man out and it’s going to mean a lot too to graduate,” she said holding her gown.
Fire officials said investigators will be called in Friday morning to try to figure out what happened.
They said no one was seriously injured fighting the blaze, although the Cressona fire chief was hospitalized when he fell through a floor.